Evaluation of melanoma vaccines with molecularly defined antigens by ex vivo monitoring of tumor-specific T cells

Semin Cancer Biol. 2003 Dec;13(6):461-72. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2003.09.010.


Immunotherapy of melanoma is aimed to mobilize cytolytic CD8+ T cells playing a central role in protective immunity. Despite numerous clinical vaccine trials, only few patients exhibited strong antigen-specific T-cell activation, stressing the need to improve vaccine strategies. For a rational development, we propose to focus on molecularly defined vaccine components, and evaluate their immunogenicity with highly reproducible and standardized methods for ex vivo immune monitoring. Careful immunogenicity comparison of vaccine formulations in phase I/II studies allow to select optimized vaccines for subsequent clinical efficacy testing in large scale phase III trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / analysis
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II