The Peptide Vaccine of the Future

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2021:20:100022. doi: 10.1074/mcp.R120.002309. Epub 2021 Feb 8.


The approach of peptide-based anticancer vaccination has proven the ability to induce cancer-specific immune responses in multiple studies for various cancer entities. However, clinical responses remain so far limited to single patients and broad clinical applicability was not achieved. Therefore, further efforts are required to improve peptide vaccination in order to integrate this low-side-effect therapy into the clinical routine of cancer therapy. To design clinically effective peptide vaccines in the future, different issues have to be addressed and optimized comprising antigen target selection as well as choice of optimal adjuvants and vaccination schedules. Furthermore, the combination of peptide-based vaccines with other immuno- and molecular targeted therapies as well as the development of predictive biomarkers could further improve efficacy. In this review, current approaches in the development of peptide-based vaccines and critical implications for optimal vaccine design are discussed.

Keywords: Peptide vaccine, HLA ligands, Cancer vaccination, Adjuvants, Combination therapy, Mass spectrometry, Biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Biomarkers
  • Cancer Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Vaccines, Subunit / administration & dosage*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antigens
  • Biomarkers
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Subunit