Potential for immunotherapy in soft tissue sarcoma

Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2014;10(11):3117-24. doi: 10.4161/21645515.2014.983003.


Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are rare, heterogeneous tumors of mesenchymal origin. Despite optimal treatment, a large proportion of patients will develop recurrent and metastatic disease. For these patients, current treatment options are quite limited. Significant progress has been made recently in the use of immunotherapy for the treatment of other solid tumors (e.g. prostate cancer, melanoma). There is a strong rationale for immunotherapy in STS, based on an understanding of disease biology. For example, STS frequently have chromosomal translocations which result in unique fusion proteins and specific subtypes have been shown to express cancer testis antigens. In this review, we discuss the current status of immunotherapy in STS, including data from human studies with cancer vaccines, adoptive cell therapy, and immune checkpoint blockade. Further research into STS immunology is needed to help design logical, subtype-specific immunotherapeutic strategies.

Keywords: adoptive cell therapy; cancer vaccines; immune checkpoint blockade; immunotherapy; soft tissue sarcoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy
  • Sarcoma / immunology
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Sarcoma / therapy*


  • Cancer Vaccines