Vaccines targeting angiogenesis in melanoma

Eur J Pharmacol. 2021 Dec 5;912:174565. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2021.174565. Epub 2021 Oct 14.


Angiogenesis has a significant role in metastasis and progression of melanoma. Even small tumors may be susceptible to metastasis and hence lead to a worse outcome in patients with melanoma. One of the anti-angiogenic treatment approaches that is undergoing comprehensive study is specific immunotherapy. While tumor cells are challenging targets for immunotherapy due to their genetic instability and heterogeneity, endothelial cells (ECs) are genetically stable. Therefore, vaccines targeting angiogenesis in melanoma are appropriate choices that target both tumor cells and ECs while capable of inducing strong, anti-tumor immune responses with limited toxicity. The main targets of angiogenesis are VEGFs and their receptors but other potential targets have also been investigated, especially in preclinical studies. Various types of vaccines that target angiogenesis in melanoma have been studied including DNA, peptide, protein, dendritic cell-based, and endothelial cell vaccines. This review outlines a number of target antigens that are important for potential progress in developing vaccines for targeting angiogenesis in melanoma. We also discuss different types of vaccines that have been investigated, delivery mechanisms and popular adjuvants, and suggest ways to improve future clinical outcomes.

Keywords: Angiogenesis; Immunotherapy; Melanoma; Vaccine.