Dendritic cells (DCs) play a crucial role in maintaining the immune system. Though DC-based cancer immunotherapy has been suggested as a potential treatment for various kinds of malignancies, its clinical efficacies are still insufficient in many human trials. Issues that limit the clinical efficacy of DC-based immunotherapy, as well as the difficulty of the industrial production of DCs, are largely due to the limited number of autologous DCs available from each patient. We here established a possible breakthrough, a simple cytokine-based culture method to expand the log-scale order of functional human DCs. Floating cultivation of cord-blood CD34 + cells under an optimized cytokine cocktail led these progenitor cells to stable log-scale proliferation and to DC differentiation. The expanded DCs had typical features of conventional myeloid DCs in vitro. Therefore, the concept of DC expansion should contribute significantly to the progress of DC immunotherapy.
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