Heat shock proteins and cancer vaccines: developments in the past decade and chaperoning in the decade to come

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2011 Nov;10(11):1553-68. doi: 10.1586/erv.11.124.


Molecular chaperone-peptide complexes extracted from tumors (heat shock protein [HSP] vaccines) have been intensively studied in the preceding two decades, proving to be safe and effective in treating a number of malignant diseases. They offer personalized therapy and target a cross-section of antigens expressed in patients' tumors. Future advances may rely on understanding the molecular underpinnings of this approach to immunotherapy. One property common to HSP vaccines is the ability to stimulate antigen uptake by scavenger receptors on the antigen-presenting cell surface and trigger T-lymphocyte activation. HSPs can also induce signaling through Toll-Like receptors in a range of immune cells and this may mediate the effectiveness of vaccines.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology*
  • Drug Discovery / history
  • Drug Discovery / trends
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Molecular Chaperones / administration & dosage
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism


  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Molecular Chaperones