Autologous dendritic cells (DCs) transfected with mRNA encoding prostate-specific antigen (PSA) are able to stimulate potent, T cell–mediated antitumor immune responses in vitro. A phase I trial was performed to evaluate this strategy for safety, feasibility, and efficacy to induce T cell responses against the self-protein PSA in patients with metastatic prostate cancer. In 13 study subjects, escalating doses of PSA mRNA–transfected DCs were administered with no evidence of dose-limiting toxicity or adverse effects, including autoimmunity. Induction of PSA-specific T cell responses was consistently detected in all patients, suggesting in vivo bioactivity of the vaccine. Vaccination was further associated with a significant decrease in the log slope PSA in six of seven subjects; three patients that could be analyzed exhibited a transient molecular clearance of circulating tumor cells. The demonstration of vaccine safety, successful in vivo induction of PSA-specific immunity, and impact on surrogate clinical endpoints provides a scientific rationale for further clinical investigation of RNA-transfected DCs in the treatment of human cancer.


Axel Heiser, Doris Coleman, Jens Dannull, Donna Yancey, Margaret A. Maurice, Costas D. Lallas, Philipp Dahm, Donna Niedzwiecki, Eli Gilboa, Johannes Vieweg


Download this citation for these citation managers:

Or, download this citation in these formats:

If you experience problems using these citation formats, send us feedback.