Whole tumor antigen vaccines

Semin Immunol. 2010 Jun;22(3):132-43. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2010.02.004. Epub 2010 Mar 30.


Although cancer vaccines with defined antigens are commonly used, the use of whole tumor cell preparations in tumor immunotherapy is a very promising approach and can obviate some important limitations in vaccine development. Whole tumor cells are a good source of TAAs and can induce simultaneous CTLs and CD4(+) T helper cell activation. We review current approaches to prepare whole tumor cell vaccines, including traditional methods of freeze-thaw lysates, tumor cells treated with ultraviolet irradiation, and RNA electroporation, along with more recent methods to increase tumor cell immunogenicity with HOCl oxidation or infection with replication-incompetent herpes simplex virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Apoptosis
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Mice
  • Necrosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Simplexvirus / immunology


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cancer Vaccines