Immune adjuvants as critical guides directing immunity triggered by therapeutic cancer vaccines

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Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Cytotherapy
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Field Oncology and hematology
Keywords costimulation; homing signal; immune adjuvants; polarizing signal; therapeutic cancer vaccines
Description Tumor growth is controlled by natural antitumor immune responses alone or by augmented immune reactivity resulting from different forms of immunotherapy, which has demonstrated clinical benefit in numerous studies, although the overall percentage of patients with durable clinical responses remains limited. This is attributed to the heterogeneity of the disease, the inclusion of late-stage patients with no other treatment options and advanced tumor-associated immunosuppression, which may be consolidated by certain types of chemotherapy. Despite variable responsiveness to distinct types of immunotherapy, therapeutic cancer vaccination has shown meaningful efficacy for a variety of cancers. A key step during cancer vaccination involves the appropriate modeling of the functional state of dendritic cells (DCs) capable of co-delivering four critical signals for proper instruction of tumor antigen specific T cells. However, the education of DCs, either directly in situ, or ex vivo by various complex procedures, lacks standardization. Also, it is questioned whether ex vivo prepared DC vaccines are superior to in situ administered adjuvant-guided vaccines, although both approaches have shown success. Evaluation of these variables is further complicated by a lack of consensus in evaluating vaccination clinical study end points. We discuss the role of signals needed for the preparation of classic in situ and modem ex vivo DC vaccines capable of proper reprogramming of antitumor immune responses in patients with cancer.
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