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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2001 May;1(3):497-510.

Biological and clinical developments in melanoma vaccines.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Brussels Branch, Avenue Hippocrate 74, BP 7459, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium.


The identification of antigens recognised on human tumours by autologous T-lymphocytes has opened the way for vaccination strategies involving defined tumour antigens. These vaccinations are therapeutic, i.e. they involve patients with detectable disease. Tumour regressions have been observed in a minority of melanoma patients in Phase I/II trials. Some of these regressions have been complete and long lasting. Improving the efficacy of therapeutic vaccines will critically depend on their capacity to trigger a robust immune response, on the development of appropriate methods to monitor these antitumour immune responses to vaccination and on a better understanding of the mechanisms used by tumours to escape immune attack. Finally, the initiation of large randomised Phase III trials will determine the impact of these vaccines on melanoma treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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