Therapeutic vaccines for cancer: an overview of clinical trials

Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2014 Sep;11(9):509-24. doi: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2014.111. Epub 2014 Jul 8.


The therapeutic potential of host-specific and tumour-specific immune responses is well recognized and, after many years, active immunotherapies directed at inducing or augmenting these responses are entering clinical practice. Antitumour immunization is a complex, multi-component task, and the optimal combinations of antigens, adjuvants, delivery vehicles and routes of administration are not yet identified. Active immunotherapy must also address the immunosuppressive and tolerogenic mechanisms deployed by tumours. This Review provides an overview of new results from clinical studies of therapeutic cancer vaccines directed against tumour-associated antigens and discusses their implications for the use of active immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / drug therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Active*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Melanoma / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cancer Vaccines