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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2005 May;4(5):399-409.

Regulators of apoptosis: suitable targets for immune therapy of cancer.

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Tumor Immunology Group, Institute of Cancer Biology, Danish Cancer Society, Strandboulevarden 49, Dk-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


Harnessing the immune system in the battle against cancer has been the focus of tremendous research efforts during the past two decades. Several means for achieving this goal, including adoptive transfer of tumour-reactive T cells, systemic or localized administration of immune modulating cytokines and the use of 'therapeutic' vaccines, have been explored. Anti-apoptotic molecules that enhance the survival of cancer cells and facilitate their escape from cytotoxic therapies represent prime candidates as vaccination antigens. Notably, spontaneous cellular immune responses against these proteins have frequently been identified in cancer patients. Here, we summarize current knowledge of IAP and BCL2 family proteins as T-cell antigens, report the results of the first explorative trial using these antigens in therapeutic vaccinations against cancer and discuss future opportunities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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