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Immunity. 2013 Jul 25;39(1):38-48. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.07.004.

Dendritic-cell-based therapeutic cancer vaccines.

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Ralph M. Steinman Center for Cancer Vaccines, Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, Baylor Research Institute, Dallas, TX 75204, USA.


The past decade has seen tremendous developments in novel cancer therapies through the targeting of tumor-cell-intrinsic pathways whose activity is linked to genetic alterations and the targeting of tumor-cell-extrinsic factors, such as growth factors. Furthermore, immunotherapies are entering the clinic at an unprecedented speed after the demonstration that T cells can efficiently reject tumors and that their antitumor activity can be enhanced with antibodies against immune-regulatory molecules (checkpoint blockade). Current immunotherapy strategies include monoclonal antibodies against tumor cells or immune-regulatory molecules, cell-based therapies such as adoptive transfer of ex-vivo-activated T cells and natural killer cells, and cancer vaccines. Herein, we discuss the immunological basis for therapeutic cancer vaccines and how the current understanding of dendritic cell and T cell biology might enable the development of next-generation curative therapies for individuals with cancer.

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