Cancer Res 2009 Mar 10;69(6):2487-96. Epub 2009 Mar 10.
Department of Pathology and Immunology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Dendritic cells (DC) loaded with tumor antigens from apoptotic/necrotic tumor cells are commonly used as vaccines for cancer therapy. However, the use of dead tumor cells may cause both tolerance and immunity, making the effect of vaccination unpredictable. To deliver live tumor "cargoes" into DC, we developed a new approach based on the "labeling" of tumors with a phospholipid "eat-me" signal, phosphatidylserine. Expression of phosphatidylserine on live tumor cells mediated their recognition and endocytosis by DC resulting in the presentation of tumor antigens to antigen-specific T cells. In mice, topical application of phosphatidylserine-containing ointment over melanoma induced tumor-specific CTL, local and systemic antitumor immunity, and inhibited tumor growth. Thus, labeling of tumors with phosphatidylserine is a promising strategy for cancer immunotherapy.