Adoptive cellular immunotherapy for the treatment of patients with breast cancer: a meta-analysis

Zheng-Xu Wang, Jun-Xia Cao, Min Wang, Duo Li, Yu-Xin Cui, Xiao-Yan Zhang, Jin-Long Liu, Jun-Li Li
Cytotherapy 2014, 16 (7): 934-45

BACKGROUND: To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of dendritic cells (DC) alone, cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells alone and the combination of DC and CIK cells in the treatment of breast cancer, we performed a systemic review of the relevant published clinical studies, collectively referred to as DC-CIK cell therapy.

METHODS: Six hundred thirty-three patients with breast cancer were assigned to cohorts, and a meta-analysis was conducted.

RESULTS: The treatment of breast cancer with DC-CIK cells was associated with a significantly improved 1-year survival (P = 0.0001). The Karnofsky performance status scale of the patients treated with DC-CIK cells was significantly improved compared with that of the non-DC-CIK group (P < 0.0001). The percentage of T cells (CD3(+), CD4(+) and CD4(+)CD8(+)), CD16(+) monocytes, and CD3(+)CD56(+) natural killer T cells in the peripheral blood of cancer patients was significantly increased (P ≤ 0.05), whereas the percentage of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells was not significantly decreased (P = 0.32) in the DC-CIK treatment group compared with the non-DC-CIK group. The levels of interleukin-2, interleukin-12, tumor necrosis factor-α, interferon-γ, and nucleolar organizer region protein in the peripheral blood of cancer patients, which reflect immune function, were significantly increased (P < 0.001) after DC-CIK cell treatment. Furthermore, after DC-CIK treatment, the average levels of the alpha-fetoprotein, cancer antigen embryonic antigen and carbohydrate antigen tumor markers were decreased (P < 0.00001).

CONCLUSIONS: DC-CIK cell therapy markedly prolongs survival time, enhances immune function, and improves the efficacy of the treatment of breast cancer patients.

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