Cancer immunotherapy targeting tumour-specific antigens: towards a new therapy for minimal residual disease

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2008 Jul;8(7):951-68. doi: 10.1517/14712598.8.7.951.


Background: Clinical investigation of cancer immunotherapy has been very active and several approaches have been evaluated in Phase III trials. In particular, the characterisation at the molecular level of tumour-specific antigens, together with expert knowledge from GSK Biologicals in recombinant protein manufacturing and immunological Adjuvant Systems, has led the company to develop Antigen-Specific Cancer Immunotherapeutic (ASCI).

Objective/methods: This paper reviews the different cancer immunotherapy approaches that have reached Phase III clinical development. A special attention is given to GSK's ASCI approach.

Conclusion: Based on encouraging data in a double-blind Phase II trial in non-small-cell lung cancer, the selection of the most suitable adjuvant system in melanoma and the choice of the adequate clinical setting for the clinical development of cancer immunotherapy, the ASCI approach offers the perspective that the long quest towards a new cancer treatment approach is about to succeed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / chemistry*
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Genetic Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Peptides
  • Recombinant Proteins