Plasma-Activated Medium Potentiates the Immunogenicity of Tumor Cell Lysates for Dendritic Cell-Based Cancer Vaccines

Sergej Tomić, Andjelija Petrović, Nevena Puač, Nikola Škoro, Marina Bekić, Zoran Petrović, Miodrag Čolić

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Autologous dendritic cells (DCs)-based vaccines are considered quite promising for cancer immunotherapy due to their exquisite potential to induce tumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells. However, a lack of efficient protocols for inducing immunogenic tumor antigens limits the efficacy of DC-based cancer vaccines. Here, we found that a plasma-activated medium (PAM) induces
immunogenic cell death (ICD) in tumor cells but not in an immortalized L929 cell line or human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. PAM induced an accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), autophagy, apoptosis, and necrosis in a concentration-dependent manner. The tumor lysates prepared after PAM treatment displayed increased immunogenicity in a model of human monocytederived DCs, compared to the lysates prepared by a standard freezing/thawing method. Mature DCs loaded with PAM lysates showed an increased maturation potential, as estimated by their increased expression of CD83, CD86, CD40, IL-12/IL-10 production, and attenuated PDL1 and ILT-4 expression, compared to the DCs treated with control tumor lysates. Moreover, in co-culture with allogeneic T cells, DCs loaded with PAM-lysates increased the proportion of cytotoxic IFN-γ+ granzyme A+ CD8+ T cells and IL-17A-producing T cells and preserved the Th1 response. In contrast, control tumor lysates-treated DCs increased the frequency of Th2 (CD4+IL-4+), CD4, and CD8 regulatory T cell subtypes, none of which was observed with DCs loaded with PAM-lysates. Cumulatively, these results suggest that the novel method for preparing immunogenic tumor lysates with PAM could be suitable for improved DC-based immunotherapy of cancer patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1626
Number of pages23
Issue number7
Early online date1 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Apr 2021


  • Dendritic cells
  • Plasma activated medium
  • Th polarization
  • Tumor vaccines


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