Dendritic cells pulsed with alpha-galactosylceramide induce anti-tumor immunity against pancreatic cancer in vivo

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Abstract

Ductal pancreatic adenocarcinoma is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the Western world. Unfortunately, recent advances in diagnostics, staging and therapy have not resulted in significant improvements. Thus, new approaches are necessary to improve the outcome of patients with exocrine pancreatic cancer. We tested triggering of specific T lymphocytes in vivo by using the immunocompetent mouse strain C57BL/6. In the present study, we tried to enhance the anti-tumor effect against pancreatic carcinoma by supplementary triggering of NKT cells in vivo. We challenged Panc02 tumor-bearing mice by intratumoral vaccination with alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer)-loaded dendritic cells (DCs). A significant expansion of IFNγ-producing NKT cells was observed which also correlated with decrease in tumor growth in vivo. Hence, DCs loaded with alpha-GalCer could lead to a novel treatment option for patients with pancreatic cancer.

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