Affordable Access

Access to the full text

Biomaterial-based platforms for in situ dendritic cell programming and their use in antitumor immunotherapy

  • Calmeiro, João1, 2
  • Carrascal, Mylène2, 3
  • Gomes, Célia4, 5
  • Falcão, Amílcar1, 6
  • Cruz, Maria Teresa1, 2
  • Neves, Bruno Miguel7
  • 1 University of Coimbra, Faculty of Pharmacy, Coimbra, 3000-548, Portugal , Coimbra (Portugal)
  • 2 University of Coimbra, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Coimbra, 3004-504, Portugal , Coimbra (Portugal)
  • 3 Tecnimede Group, Sintra, Portugal , Sintra (Portugal)
  • 4 University of Coimbra, Coimbra Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research, Faculty of Medicine, Coimbra, Portugal , Coimbra (Portugal)
  • 5 University of Coimbra, Center for Innovation in Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Coimbra, Portugal , Coimbra (Portugal)
  • 6 University of Coimbra, Coimbra Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Translational Research (CIBIT), Coimbra, Portugal , Coimbra (Portugal)
  • 7 University of Aveiro, Department of Medical Sciences and Institute of Biomedicine – iBiMED, Agra do Crasto - Edifício 30, Aveiro, 3810-193, Portugal , Aveiro (Portugal)
Published Article
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Sep 04, 2019
DOI: 10.1186/s40425-019-0716-8
Springer Nature


Dendritic cells (DCs) are central players in the immune system, with an exquisite capacity to initiate and modulate immune responses. These functional characteristics have led to intense research on the development of DC-based immunotherapies, particularly for oncologic diseases. During recent decades, DC-based vaccines have generated very promising results in animal studies, and more than 300 clinical assays have demonstrated the safety profile of this approach. However, clinical data are inconsistent, and clear evidence of meaningful efficacy is still lacking. One of the reasons for this lack of evidence is the limited functional abilities of the used ex vivo-differentiated DCs. Therefore, alternative approaches for targeting and modulating endogenous DC subpopulations have emerged as an attractive concept. Here, we sought to revise the evolution of several strategies for the in situ mobilization and modulation of DCs. The first approaches using chemokine-secreting irradiated tumor cells are addressed, and special attention is given to the cutting-edge injectable bioengineered platforms, programmed to release chemoattractants, tumor antigens and DC maturating agents. Finally, we discuss how our increasing knowledge of DC biology, the use of neoantigens and their combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors can leverage the refinement of these polymeric vaccines to boost their antitumor efficacy.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times