What's new in the field of cancer vaccines?

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2003 Jul;60(7):1296-310. doi: 10.1007/s00018-003-2185-x.


The observation that in some cases tumors undergo spontaneous regression concomitantly with autoimmune manifestations has been interpreted as an indication of the involvement of the immune system in tumor rejection. This raised the conceptual possibility that the immune system could be used against the tumor. However, since tumor cells are poorly immunogenic by themselves, early attempts to develop immune-based approaches for cancer therapy saw the use of tumor cells transduced with genes coding for cytokines or costimulatory molecules to enhance in vivo immunity. The identification of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-defined tumor-associated antigens has allowed the development of new strategies for cancer immunotherapy. Novel adjuvants have been identified, and different modes of antigen delivery were devised which aim at inducing efficient CTL responses in patients. This review will discuss some of what is currently considered as relevant aspects of antitumor immunization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • HLA Antigens
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Immunotherapy / trends
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Neoplasm Regression, Spontaneous / immunology
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Point Mutation
  • Proteins / immunology
  • Vaccines, DNA / therapeutic use


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • CTAG1B protein, human
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • HLA Antigens
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Vaccines, DNA