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2003–2013, a valuable study: Autologous tumour lysate-pulsed dendritic cell immunotherapy with cytokine-induced killer cells improves survival in stage IV breast cancer

Cancer type: Stage IV breast adenocarcinoma.

Patient conditions: 368 patients were divided into immunotherapy group (treatment group: 188 patients) and chemotherapy group (control group: 180 patients). These women were 18 years and older, with hormone receptor negative or hormone receptor positive but insensitive to endocrine therapy. They had symptomatic visceral metastatic and had completed chemotherapy for at least 1 month.

Treatments: Patients in the treatment group received one cycle of low-dose chemotherapy with Carmofure (100 mg, po, bid) for 5 or 6 days. The infusion of DCs and CIK cells was started at 7-day intervals after chemotherapy. The DC-CIK therapy was repeated four times in a fortnight to form one cycle. At least three cycles of DC-CIK therapy were given.

Results: The immune function is enhanced after DC-CIK therapy. Disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were both significantly prolonged in patients in the DC-CIK treatment group (5-year DFS 42%, OS 44%) compared with the patients in control groups (30% and 29%, respectively, p < 0.01). Among the patients, the most common reaction was fever (34.6%); chill was the least common reaction (2.1%).

Conclusion: This research indicates that the combination of DC vaccine and CIK therapy can significantly improve DFS and OS in patients with stage IV breast cancer who only rely on chemotherapy. There is no doubt that DC-CIK is a boon to stage IV breast cancer patients.

Esposito A., Santangelo M., Goldhirsch A., Curigliano G., Gelass L., Criscitello C., De Laurentiis M., Fumagalli L., Locatelli M.,
Minchella I., De Placido S.
Dendritic Cell-based vaccines: Clinical applications in breast cancer
Immunotherapy (2014) 6(3), 349-360 ISSN 1750-743X