Antigen Presenting Cell (APC) vaccines rely on the ability of APCs to present tumor-specific antigens as foreign to the host immune system, and mobilize an immune response. In this cell-based therapy, APCs (primarily monocytes and dendritic cells) are initially harvested from the peripheral blood of patients. The harvested APCs are then cultured with the following:
- Tumor-specific antigen(s), which is internalized, processed, and displayed by APCs on the cell surface in the form of a MHC-tumor peptide complex.
- Other soluble factors (such as recombinant proteins) which promote cell maturation and increased immune capabilities.
After maturation and “priming” of the APCs ex vivo, they are transfused back into patients where they will elicit anti-tumor immune responses. After activation, they generate effector and memory T Cells to eliminate and surveil tumor recurrence.