The history of the development of vaccines for the treatment of lymphoma

Clin Lymphoma. 2000 Sep;1(2):129-39; discussion 140. doi: 10.3816/clm.2000.n.011.


Exploitation of the immune system is an attractive strategy for developing selective lymphoma therapies. In the past several decades, increased knowledge of tumor immunology has granted investigators the tools to formulate a variety of lymphoma-specific vaccines. Vaccines targeting the tumor-specific immunoglobulin (idiotype) of B-cell lymphomas were the first to be developed, owing to successful active vaccination studies in animal models and clinical studies of passive anti-idiotype monoclonal antibodies. In initial clinical trials, patient-specific idiotype vaccines have been found to induce anti-idiotype immune responses that correlate with improved disease-free and overall survival and the reduction of the level of detectable residual disease. More recent strategies for improving the potency and practicality of idiotype vaccines are utilization of dendritic cells, recombinant idiotype proteins, and DNA vaccination. Custom-made vaccines utilizing whole autologous tumor cells are also being developed. Given the exciting results of these early lymphoma vaccine studies and the accelerated pace of immunologic research, it is hoped that vaccines will someday expand the armamentarium of effective lymphoma therapies.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Allergy and Immunology / history
  • Cancer Vaccines / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / history
  • Lymphoma / history*
  • Lymphoma / therapy


  • Cancer Vaccines