Melanoma and Lymphoma Rejection Associated With Eosinophil Infiltration Upon Intratumoral Injection of Dendritic and NK/LAK Cells

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Dendritic cells (DCs) are promising tools for tumor immunotherapy. Their efficacy in the tumor environment increases when tumor cells die as a consequence of chemo/radiotherapy or when local stimuli promoting DC maturation and function are available. Dying tumor cells could represent a source of tumor antigens, which DCs cross-present to tumor-specific T cells. The outcome of cross presentation is in turn determined by the maturation state of DCs. Natural killer (NK)/lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells injected into growing tumors could both provide a source of dying cells for cross-presentation and deliver stimuli for DC maturation. Here, we report that NK/LAK cells recognized and killed in vivo major histocompatibility complex class Ilow highly tumorigenic, nonimmunogenic B16F1 melanoma cells when injected into exponentially growing neoplastic lesions. The simultaneous injection of immature DCs was required to heal animals. Similar results were obtained injecting NK/LAK cells and DC into growing Raucher leukaemia virus induced cell line lymphomas. Cured mice failed to reject other implantable tumors, and developed a specific cytotoxic response against the original neoplasm; moreover, they developed a long-lasting memory, and were protected against further challenges with living tumor cells only when both cell populations were introduced. The response associated to the preferential recruitment within tumors of eosinophils. The simultaneous injection in solid tumors of DCs and NK/LAK cells represents an attractive approach for antineoplastic immunotherapeutic strategies.

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