Published online Mar 28, 2005. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i12.1806
Revised: April 25, 2004
Accepted: May 13, 2004
Published online: March 28, 2005
AIM: To investigate the therapeutic effect of autologous HBsAg-loaded dendritic cells (DCs) on patients with chronic hepatitis B.
METHODS: Monocytes were isolated from fresh peripheral blood of 19 chronic HBV-infected patients by Ficoll-Hypaque density gradient centrifugation and cultured by plastic-adherence methods. DCs were induced and proliferated in the culture medium with recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage-colony- stimulating factor (rhGM-CSF) and human interleukin-4 (rhIL-4). DCs pulsed with HBsAg for twelve hours were injected into patients subcutaneously twice at intervals of two weeks. Two patients received 100 mg oral lamivudine daily for 12 mo at the same time. HBV-DNA and viral markers in sera of patients were tested every two months.
RESULTS: By the end of 2003, 11 of 19 (57.9%) patients had a clinical response to DC-treatment. HBeAg of 10 (52.6%) patients became negative, and the copies of HBV-DNA decreased 101.77±2.39 averagely (t = 3.13, P<0.01).Two cases co-treated with DCs and lamivudine had a complete clinical response. There were no significant differences in the efficient rate between the cases with ALT level lower than 2×ULN and those with ALT level higher than 2×ULN before treatment (χ2 = 0.0026).
CONCLUSION: Autologous DC-vaccine induced in vitro can effectively suppress HBV replication, reduce the virus load in sera, eliminate HBeAg and promote HBeAg/anti-HBe transformation. Not only the patients with high serum ALT levels but also those with normal ALT levels can respond to DC vaccine treatment, and the treatment combining DCs with lamivudine can eliminate viruses more effectively.