Update on Vaccine Strategies to Improve Cancer Treatment

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Palena C, Schlom J. Vaccines against human carcinomas: strategies to improve antitumor immune responses. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:380697. Epub 2010 Mar 16. Review. PubMed PMID: 20300434; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2840411.

NCI researchers review the evidence for vaccine strategies against cancers. Topics include choice of
vaccine-delivery systems; tumor antigens; targeting of molecules that control metastasis; enhancing activation of tumor-specific T-cells; cytokines as vaccine adjuvants; vaccines in combination with cytotoxic drugs, radiation therapy, and small molecule targeted therapy.

From the conclusion:

“The combination of cancer vaccines with other therapeutical modalities, in particular established therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy, as well as small molecule targeted therapies, provides an opportunity to further improve the outcome of vaccine interventions against cancer. Moreover, several studies also indicated that patients who receive a cancer vaccine have an enhanced outcome to subsequent therapies, thus providing another possible approach for the use of cancer vaccines prior to other cancer interventions. A prospective randomized trial is being initiated to substantiate these findings. Unlike other modalities, cancer vaccines have so far demonstrated no associated toxicities and therefore their use could not only result in improved patient survival but also in improvements in quality of life.”

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