Immunotherapy is an effective method for preventing metastasis and recurrence of carcinoma. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common malignancy with a high rate of recurrence, and has not successfully been introduced to immunotherapy. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from whole blood of HCC patients and stimulated to transform into dendritic cells (DCs). These DCs were then transfected with RNA extracted from HepG-2 hepatoma cells to induce expression of specific antigens. The transfected DCs stimulated T lymphocytes to produce cytotoxic T lymphocytes, which specifically attacked HepG-2 cells. Injection of T lymphocytes from HCC patients and transfected DCs into severe combined immunodeficiency mice limited the growth of HepG-2 tumors. A specific immune response against hepatoma can be generated in vivo by administering DCs transfected with RNA from a specific tumor. This method may have therapeutic application in humans to reduce recurrence of HCC.
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