Renal cancer is a relatively uncommon solid tumor, accounting for about 3% of all adult malignancies, however this rate incidence is rising. The most common histological renal cell carcinoma (RCC) subtype is clear cell carcinoma that makes up approximately 70–80% of all renal neoplasms and appears to be the only histological subtype that is responsive to immunotherapeutic approaches with any consistency. Therefore, it has been hypothesized that immune-mediated mechanisms play important roles in limiting tumor growth and that dendritic cells (DC), the most potent APC in the body, and T cells are the dominant effector cells that regulate tumor progression in situ. In this context, the development of clinically effective DC-based vaccines is a major focus for active specific immunotherapy in renal cancer.
In the current review we have not focused on the results of recently published RCC clinical trials, as several excellent reviews have already performed this function. Instead, we turned our attention to how the perception and practical application of DC-based vaccinations are evolving.