Objectives: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of dendritic cell (DC) therapy in combination with interferon-α (IFN-α) in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. Methods: Seven patients, with progressive disease following IFN-α and interleukin (IL)-2 treatment, were treated with monocyte-derived DC (Mo-DC) and IFN-α between February 2004 and September 2006. They received Mo-DC once a week for 5 weeks and then every 2 weeks either intradermally or intratumorally. IFN-α (5-6 million U) was subcutaneously administered three times a week. Tumor size was evaluated by computed tomography scans before and after the 5th and 10th DC vaccination. A delayed-type hypersensitivity test was performed after the 4th and 5th DC administration for immunological monitoring. Results: Five patients had stable disease while the remaining two patients had progressive disease following 4 months of vaccination. In six patients the time to progression was prolonged in comparison with the previous cytokine treatment. Six patients showed delayed-type hypersensitivity after the 4th or 5th immunization. Three patients developed high fever following DC immunization. Treatment was associated with transient flu-like symptoms. Conclusions: Our data indicate that DC therapy combined with IFN-α is safe and has the potential for prolonging the time to progression in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.
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