While the endeavor to vaccinate against cancer has been pursued for over 20 years, only recently was the first tumor vaccine approved. Among the different antigen formats assessed for vaccination, coding messenger RNA (mRNA) is emerging as a particularly attractive option. It can code for all types of transcript based proteins, is easy and cost efficient to produce, has a favorable safety profile and enables induction of combined immune responses. Within the last few years major developments have been achieved in this field. Clinical approaches use mRNA either for direct administration or for engineering of adoptively transferred dendritic cells. However, there are still challenges to be overcome for successful clinical application of mRNA-based immunotherapies.
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