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J Immunol. 2011 Feb 1;186(3):1325-31. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0902539.

Recent developments in cancer vaccines.

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Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75204, USA.


The adoptive transfer of cancer Ag-specific effector T cells in patients can result in tumor rejection, thereby illustrating the immune system potential for cancer therapy. Ideally, one would like to directly induce efficient tumor-specific effector and memory T cells through vaccination. Therapeutic vaccines have two objectives: priming Ag-specific T cells and reprogramming memory T cells (i.e., a transformation from one type of immunity to another, for example, regulatory to cytotoxic). Recent successful phase III clinical trials showing benefit to the patients revived cancer vaccines. Dendritic cells (DCs) are essential in generation of immune responses, and as such represent targets and vectors for vaccination. We have learned that different DC subsets elicit different T cells. Similarly, different activation methods result in DCs able to elicit distinct T cells. We contend that a careful manipulation of activated DCs will allow cancer immunotherapists to produce the next generation of highly efficient cancer vaccines.

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