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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2009 Dec;13(5-6):608-17. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2009.08.010. Epub 2009 Sep 18.

Recent development in carbohydrate-based cancer vaccines.

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Department of Chemistry, Wayne State University, 5101 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens (TACAs) are important molecular markers on the cancer cell surface, useful for the development of therapeutic cancer vaccines or cancer immunotherapies. However, because of their poor immunogenicity and/or immunotolerance, most TACAs fail to induce T cell-mediated immunity that is critical for cancer therapy. This review summarizes the recent effort to overcome this problem via constructing TACA conjugates with improved immunogenicity, such as by covalently coupling TACAs to proper carrier molecules to form clustered or multi-epitopic conjugate vaccines, coupling TACAs to a T cell peptide epitope and/or an immunostimulant epitope to form fully synthetic multi-component glycoconjugate vaccines, and developing vaccines based on chemically modified TACAs, which is combined with metabolic engineering of cancer cells.

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