Immunotherapy for human cancer using heat shock protein-peptide complexes

Curr Oncol Rep. 2005 Mar;7(2):104-8. doi: 10.1007/s11912-005-0035-8.


Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are primordial and abundant molecules expressed in all cells. Publications starting in 1984 have shown that immunization of mice, rats, and frogs with purified preparations of selected HSPs isolated from cancers leads to protective immunity against the cancer used as the source of the HSP. The basis of the tumor-specific immunogenicity of these molecules lies not in the molecules themselves but in the array of peptides, including antigenic peptides chaperoned by them. These experiments and the ideas derived from them form the basis of an approach to immunotherapy for human cancer that began in 1995 and is now in full swing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunization*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology*


  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments