Vaccines: a promising therapy for myelodysplastic syndrome

J Hematol Oncol. 2024 Jan 8;17(1):4. doi: 10.1186/s13045-023-01523-4.


Myelodysplastic neoplasms (MDS) define clonal hematopoietic malignancies characterized by heterogeneous mutational and clinical spectra typically seen in the elderly. Curative treatment entails allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant, which is often not a feasible option due to older age and significant comorbidities. Immunotherapy has the cytotoxic capacity to elicit tumor-specific killing with long-term immunological memory. While a number of platforms have emerged, therapeutic vaccination presents as an appealing strategy for MDS given its promising safety profile and amenability for commercialization. Several preclinical and clinical trials have investigated the efficacy of vaccines in MDS; these include peptide vaccines targeting tumor antigens, whole cell-based vaccines and dendritic cell-based vaccines. These therapeutic vaccines have shown acceptable safety profiles, but consistent clinical responses remain elusive despite robust immunological reactions. Combining vaccines with immunotherapeutic agents holds promise and requires further investigation. Herein, we highlight therapeutic vaccine trials while reviewing challenges and future directions of successful vaccination strategies in MDS.

Keywords: Dendritic cells; Immunotherapy; Myelodysplastic neoplasms; Vaccines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Hematologic Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes* / therapy
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines*


  • Vaccines