Generation of a Dendritic Cell-based Vaccine in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia Using CliniMACS Platform for Large-scale Production

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Abstract

We previously demonstrated that dendritic cells (DC) that have endocytosed apoptotic bodies of autologous leukemic cells (Apo-DC) can boost antileukemic T-cell responses. In this study, we report a description of the production procedure and product specification of the Apo-DC vaccine preparations for clinical use. Enriched populations of CD14+ monocytic precursors and CD19+ leukaemic cells were obtained using CliniMACS technology from a single leukapheresis product. Apoptotic bodies were obtained by irradiating (5 Gy) CD19+ selected B cells. DC were generated ex vivo by culturing monocytes with granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-4. Following coculture with apoptotic bodies, DCs were matured with tumour necrosis factor-α. The mean percentage of CD14+ cells in the peripheral blood as well as in the leukapheresis product of the patients (n = 10) was approximately 2% (range, 0.8–3.3). Immunomagnetic selection using the CD14 reagent yielded a CD14+ population that was 91 ± 2.2% (mean ± SEM) pure. Immunomagnetic selection of CD19 expressing cells yielded a population that was 100 ± 0.03% pure. Cell viability immediately after selection was 97% and 98% after 7 days of culture. The Apo-DC cellular vaccine product showed a mature phenotype, with a high rate of endocytosis (84%) of apoptotic leukemic B-cells. In conclusion, despite significant variability in the circulating monocyte frequency of the chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients, our method permitted the production of a DC vaccine with high reproducibility and conforming with recommended quality standards.

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