CCL5 as an adjuvant for cancer immunotherapy

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2010 May;10(5):725-33. doi: 10.1517/14712591003657128.


Importance of the field: To date cancer immunotherapy has only achieved limited clinical efficacy, thus more efficient immunotherapeutic approaches need to be explored. The CC chemokine CCL5 plays a role in chemoattraction and activation of immune cells implying its potential clinical application as an adjuvant for boosting anti-tumor immunity, although an effect on carcinogenesis and tumor cell invasiveness is also reported to be associated with CCL5.

Areas covered in this review: Recent progress in exploiting CCL5 as an adjuvant for cancer prevention and treatment, and updated understanding on how CCL5 is involved in tumor invasiveness and carcinogenesis.

What the reader will gain: CCL5 represents a natural adjuvant for enhancing anti-tumor immune responses. However, animal experiments and clinical reports suggest that CCL5 plays a role in carcinogenesis and invasiveness of tumor cells. Therefore, a CCL5-based cancer therapeutic approach needs to avoid the CCL5-associated potential detrimental effects.

Take home message: CCL5 has a pre-eminent role in chemotaxis and activation of a wide spectrum of immune cells. CCL5 functions as an adjuvant to boost anti-tumor immunity by diverse protocols such as co-immunization of recombinant CCL5 protein with tumor-associated antigen, vaccination with CCL-5-expressing tumor cells, or viral vector delivery of CCL5 cDNA into growing tumor. CCL5 may also promote tumor cell survival, proliferation and invasion by different mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / adverse effects
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cancer Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Chemokine CCL5 / adverse effects
  • Chemokine CCL5 / genetics
  • Chemokine CCL5 / immunology
  • Chemokine CCL5 / therapeutic use*
  • Genetic Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Genetic Therapy* / methods
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Escape


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Chemokine CCL5