Dendritic-cell-based therapeutic cancer vaccines

Immunity. 2013 Jul 25;39(1):38-48. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.07.004.


The past decade has seen tremendous developments in novel cancer therapies through the targeting of tumor-cell-intrinsic pathways whose activity is linked to genetic alterations and the targeting of tumor-cell-extrinsic factors, such as growth factors. Furthermore, immunotherapies are entering the clinic at an unprecedented speed after the demonstration that T cells can efficiently reject tumors and that their antitumor activity can be enhanced with antibodies against immune-regulatory molecules (checkpoint blockade). Current immunotherapy strategies include monoclonal antibodies against tumor cells or immune-regulatory molecules, cell-based therapies such as adoptive transfer of ex-vivo-activated T cells and natural killer cells, and cancer vaccines. Herein, we discuss the immunological basis for therapeutic cancer vaccines and how the current understanding of dendritic cell and T cell biology might enable the development of next-generation curative therapies for individuals with cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / transplantation
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Models, Immunological
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Cancer Vaccines