Inadequate presentation of tumor antigens by host professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs), including dendritic cells (DCs), is one potential mechanism for the escape of tumors from the host immune system. Here, we show that human cancer cell lines release a soluble factor or factors that dramatically affect DC maturation from precursors without affecting the function of relatively mature DCs. One factor responsible for these effects was identified as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Thus, VEGF may play a broader role in the pathogenesis of cancer than was previously thought, and therapeutic blockade of VEGF action may improve prospects for immunotherapy as well as inhibit tumor neovasculature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)