PloS one

Efficiency of dendritic cell vaccination against B16 melanoma depends on the immunization route.

PMID 25121970


Dendritic cells (DC) presenting tumor antigens are crucial to induce potent T cell-mediated anti-tumor immune responses. Therefore DC-based cancer vaccines have been established for therapy, however clinical outcomes are often poor and need improvement. Using a mouse model of B16 melanoma, we found that the route of preventive DC vaccination critically determined tumor control. While repeated DC vaccination did not show an impact of the route of DC application on the prevention of tumor growth, a single DC vaccination revealed that both the imprinting of skin homing receptors and an enhanced proliferation state of effector T cells was seen only upon intracutaneous but not intravenous or intraperitoneal immunization. Tumor growth was prevented only by intracutaneous DC vaccination. Our results indicate that under suboptimal conditions the route of DC vaccination crucially determines the efficiency of tumor defense. DC-based strategies for immunotherapy of cancer should take into account the immunization route in order to optimize tissue targeting of tumor antigen specific T cells.