Discoveries from the Bench to the Bedside

Dendritic Cell Cancer Vaccines: From the Bench to the Bedside

Tamar Katz, Irit Avivi, Noam Benyamini, Jacalyn Rosenblatt, and David Avigan


The recognition that the development of cancer is associated with acquired immunodeficiency, mostly against cancer cells themselves, and understanding pathways inducing this immunosuppression, has led to a tremendous development of new immunological approaches, both vaccines and drugs, which overcome this inhibition. Both “passive” (e.g. strategies relying on the administration of specific T cells) and “active” vaccines (e.g. peptide-directed or whole-cell vaccines) have become attractive immunological approaches, inducing cell death by targeting tumor associated antigens. Whereas peptide-targeted vaccines are usually directed against a single antigen, whole-cell vaccines (e.g. dendritic cell vaccines) are aimed to induce robust responsiveness by targeting several tumor-related antigens simultaneously. The combination of vaccines with new immuno-stimulating agents which target “immunosuppressive checkpoints” (anti-CTLA-4, PD-1, etc.) is likely to improve and maintain immune response induced by vaccination.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2014;5(4):e0024