Tumor-derived dendritic cell vaccination as novel approach for the prevention of cancer relapse

Project Details


90% of all cancer deaths result from the development of metastasis or relapse and treatments specifically targeting these phenomena are currently lacking. Hence, there is an urgent medical need for new treatments against cancer metastasis and tumor relapse, whereby the side effects of conventional therapies (eg chemotherapy) are avoided. In this respect, harnessing the patient’s immune system to destroy remaining cancer cells seems an attractive approach that witnessed breakthrough successes in recent years.
One of the approaches to boost anti-tumor immunity is a vaccination with dendritic cells (DC), that are crucial activators of killer T cells, which in turn may destroy cancer cells. The commonly used DC vaccination strategies have largely employed DCs matured from patients’ peripheral blood monocytes. However, our recent findings illustrated that such DC preparations may play immunosuppressive roles in cancer. Based on our identification of tumor-derived DC subsets, which are suitable for tumor vaccination, we now propose a new strategy, whereby (i) tumorbearers are treated with anti-CD40 and/or anti-CSF1R
to activate the immunostimulatory DC and eliminate the immunosuppressive monocyte-derived cells, (ii) use tumor-derived DC in combination with anti-CD40/CSF1R or anti-PD1 to boost immunity for the prevention of tumor
relapse and metastasis. We will also assess the functionality of DC from freshly isolated human tumors as a first basis for clinical translation.
Short title or EU acronymFWO SB mandate
Effective start/end date1/01/1831/12/21


  • cancer

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Cancer prevention


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