Investigation of Cellular and Humoral Immune Responses to Tumor-Associated Antigens and Survival of Patients with Advanced Cancers Treated with Combined Radiation and Immunotherapy

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Dean L Mann Kathleen A Berlyn Etse H. Gebru Kim G Hankey Ryuko Watanabe Kenichiro Hasumi


Immunotherapy is effective in treating patients with a variety of cancers. We developed and employed an immunotherapeutic protocol that combined intra-tumor injection of autologous immature dendritic cells with standard of care radiation to treat patients with a variety of different advanced solid tumors. To assess patients’ cellular immune response to their tumors, 

pre and post treatment peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were assayed for their capacity to kill autologous tumor cell lines that had been established from patients with different advanced solid tumors. Peripheral blood lymphocytes obtained post treatment were cytotoxic to autologous but not allogeneic tumor cell lines. Cytotoxic activity increased as relative numbers of CD8+CD56+ dual positive lymphoid cells increased in PBMC obtained post treatment. The autologous tumor cell line directed cytotoxicity was shown to be mediated by both innate and adaptive immune mechanisms. The cytotoxicity of PBMC obtained post treatment was enhanced after co-culture with autologous and not allogeneic tumor cell line lysates.

 To assess a humoral immune to an autologous tumor antigen, antibody activity to mesothelin, a tumor associated antigen expressed in a variety of solid tumors, increased in post treatment serum samples from lung cancer patients. Sera containing these antibodies mediated antibody directed cellular cytotoxicity to mesothelin expressing tumor cell lines. 

 The objective of cancer therapy is to enhance quality of life and increase survival. Survival of 96 patients with a variety different advanced cancer, treated on this protocol over a 3-year period and followed for 1000+ days was significantly increased in patients with low tumor burden (lesion at <5 sites with diameters < 3cm) (Km= <,0.0001) regardless of malignancy. These findings support the application of this combination of immunotherapy and radiation in the treatment of cancer patients with advanced disease. 

Keywords: Immunotherapy, Radiation, Dendritic cells, Tumor antigens, Immune Response, Clinical response, Overall survival

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How to Cite
MANN, Dean L et al. Investigation of Cellular and Humoral Immune Responses to Tumor-Associated Antigens and Survival of Patients with Advanced Cancers Treated with Combined Radiation and Immunotherapy. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 4, apr. 2023. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 may 2024. doi:
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