Anti-tumor immunostimulatory effect of heat-killed tumor cells

Joon Yoon Taek, Yeon Kim Ji, Hyojeong Kim, Changwan Hong, Hyunji Lee, Chang Kwon Lee, Ho Lee Kwang, Seokmann Hong, Se Ho Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


As a part of our ongoing search for a safe and efficient anti-tumor vaccine, we attempted to determine whether the molecular nature of certain tumor antigens would influence immune responses against tumor cells. As compared with freeze-thawed or form-aldehyde-fixed tumor antigens, heat-denatured tumor antigens elicited profound anti-tumor immune responses and greatly inhibited the growth of live tumor cells. The heat-denatured tumor antigens induced a substantial increase in the anti-tumor CTL response in the absence of any adjuvant material. This response appears to be initiated by strong activation of the antigen-presenting cells, which may recognize heat-denatured protein antigens. Upon recognition of the heat-denatured tumor antigens, macrophages and dendritic cells were found to acutely upregulate the expression of co-stimulatory molecules such as B7.2, as well as the secretion of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-12 and TNF-α. The results of this study indicate that heat-denatured tumor extracts might elicit protective anti-tumor adaptive immune responses and also raise the possibility that a safe and efficient adjuvant-free tumor vaccine might be developed in conjunction with a dendritic cell-based tumor vaccine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-144
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental and Molecular Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Feb 29


  • Cancer vaccines
  • Dendritic cells
  • Immunotherapy, active
  • Interleukin 12
  • Mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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