Vaccines for lymphomas: idiotype vaccines and beyond

Blood Rev. 2009 May;23(3):137-42. doi: 10.1016/j.blre.2008.09.001. Epub 2008 Oct 31.


Therapeutic vaccines for lymphomas have been developed to induce active and long-lasting immune responses against lymphoma capable of eradicating the tumor. Most of these vaccines use the tumor B cell idiotype (the unique variable region of the surface immunoglobulin) as a tumor-specific antigen. The first human clinical trial for lymphoma vaccine was initiated 20 years ago. Along with several other phase I/II trials, it showed encouraging results which supported the initiation of three phase III trials. The results of these trials have recently been released (although not published yet) which failed to demonstrate a prolongation in progression-free survival following chemotherapy. Despite this disappointing result, a number of observations have accumulated over the years that suggest some clinical efficacy of lymphoma vaccines. Several strategies are being developed to improve these results that include optimization of antigen delivery and presentation as well as enhancement of anti-tumor T cell function. This review describes the clinical development of lymphoma vaccines and delineates advances, problems and prospects towards integration of this strategy in the therapeutic armamentarium for lymphoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / metabolism
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cancer Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes / immunology*
  • Liposomes / immunology
  • Liposomes / metabolism
  • Lymphoma / immunology*
  • Lymphoma / therapy*
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / immunology
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Vaccination / methods*
  • Vaccines, DNA / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, DNA / immunology
  • Vaccines, DNA / therapeutic use*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • CPG-oligonucleotide
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes
  • Liposomes
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Vaccines, DNA