Tumor vaccination using messenger RNA: prospects of a future therapy

Curr Opin Immunol. 2011 Jun;23(3):399-406. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2011.03.007. Epub 2011 Apr 13.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Cancer Vaccines / genetics
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / therapeutic use*


  • Cancer Vaccines
  • RNA, Messenger