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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


LOPEZ, Mercedes et al. Advances in cellular immunotherapy for malignant melanoma. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2004, vol.132, n.9, pp.1115-1126. ISSN 0034-9887.

An alternative strategy for cancer treatment is the manipulation of the immune system, denominated cancer immunotherapy. The immunotherapeutical use of cells of the immune system, like dendritic cells (DC), is being explored in different clinical protocols. Recently, we finalized a clinical phase I protocol, for the treatment of malignant melanoma, using DCs loaded with tumor lysates. Our results indicate that the subcutaneous application of DCs do not produce adverse effects. We also observed an increase of tumor spe-cific T lymphocytes precursors in the blood, associated to hypersensitivity reactions (DTH) in 60% of the treated patients. In most cases, an stability in the disease was observed, although without a significant association between vaccination and survival. Additionally, therapies based on Interleukin-2 (IL-2) have been used with relative success in the treatment of some kind of tumors since 1985. However, problems associated to the toxicity of IL-2 still restrict its massive use. Our direct experience with the use of IL-2, indicates that low doses and its subcutaneous application, maintains the beneficial effects for patients, eliminating the adverse effects. Based on the accumulated evidence during last the five years, we decided to implement an optimized clinical protocol, which alternatively combines dendritic cells vaccines with the use of low doses of IL-2 for the reinforcement of the immunological system (Rev Méd Chile 2004; 132: 1115-26)

Keywords : Dendritic cells; Immunotherapy; Interleukin-2; Malignant melanoma.

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