The diagnosis and treatment of inoperable cervical carcinoma severely affects the quality of life of patients and their caregivers. The one-year survival rate remains under 15%. Dendritic cells have been studied as adjuvants that modify the effects of tumor immunotherapy in humans. A case report has been published that describes the vaccination with dendritic cells of a patient with metastatic cervical cancer.
A 52-year-old woman with recurrent human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cervical cancer presented with lung metastases about three years after receiving various treatments including intravenous cisplatin infusions and hysterectomy. When the lung lesions were detected, the patient received immunotherapy aimed at impeding tumor progression. The treatment involved administering autologous dendritic cells derived from monocytes, and the dendritic cells were pulsed with HPV oncoprotein. That is, the dendritic cells were incubated with the HPV antigen in order to elicit an immune response. The patient received a series of 14 dendritic-cell injections.
To increase the number of disease-responsive T cells, the dendritic-cell injections were followed a few days later with the transplantation of T cells that were incubated with HPV-pulsed dendritic cells. The other component of the treatment comprised three days of interleukin-2 injections. Interleukin-2 is a cytokine that influences T cell growth and activity. Other than a flu-like syndrome at the time of interleukin-2 dosing, no significant side effects were noted with the treatment regimen. Imaging studies did not show evidence of continued tumor growth and no viable tumor cells were detected with needle biopsies.
After the dendritic-cell therapy started, the patient was able to have a better quality of life and could take part in normal daily activities. However, at the two-year point, larger tumor masses that impacted the patient’s breathing were detected. While the dendritic-cell vaccination approach did not result in a permanent cure or several years of remission, it did help to prolong life and achieve an improvement in life quality.
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"Vaccination With HPV-18 E7–Pulsed Dendritic Cells In A Patient With Metastatic Cervical Cancer — NEJM". New England Journal of Medicine. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Feb. 2017.