How biomarkers can be used to optimize the clinical development of dendritic cell vaccines in immuno-oncology
Cell & Gene Therapy Insights 2019; 5(5), 555–564.
Numerous clinical studies with dendritic cell (DC) vaccines to treat cancer have been conducted in the past two decades. While DC-based therapies have been shown to induce immune responses and to be safe, clinical outcomes have been disappointing. Nonetheless, emerging research suggests DC-based treatments might improve survival and there is renewed interest in next generation DC-based vaccine approaches, particularly in combination with other emerging immunotherapies such as checkpoint inhibitors. This article explores how predictive or prognostic biomarkers, either to select patients or to guide treatment, could be applied to improve outcomes of this novel therapeutic approach. Specifically, we discuss two main approaches: establishment of eligibility criteria based on confirmation of expression of the tumor-associated antigens used in the vaccine, and implementation of a delayed type hypersensitivity test to screen responders so as to extend treatment.