• dendritic cell vaccination;
  • melanoma;
  • clinical trial;
  • clinical effect;
  • vaccine parameters;
  • review


Eleven years have passed since the start of the first trial of dendritic cell (DC) vaccination for melanoma. A review of 54 trials was performed to evaluate the relationship between clinical effects and vaccine parameters. Significant differences were found between use of immature and mature DCs with regard to progressive disease (PD), between stage III and IV for clinical response, between use and non-use of adjuvants with regard to stable disease (SD) in treatment with tumor/tumor lysate-pulsed DCs, between positive and negative delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) for PD, and between increased and unchanged interferon (IFN)-γ-secreting T cells for clinical response. These results are consistent with the partial efficacy of vaccination with mature DCs in early stage melanoma and the partial correlation of efficacy with positive DTH and increased IFN-γ-secreting T cells. DC vaccination alone had a limited clinical effect and a modified regimen is needed to enhance antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells and decrease immunosuppression.