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Oncoimmunology. 2013 Dec 1;2(12):e26662. Epub 2013 Oct 22.

Vaccine therapy for pancreatic cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery; Johns Hopkins University of School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA ; The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA ; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA.
2
Department of Oncology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA ; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA.
3
Department of Oncology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA ; The Skip Viragh Pancreatic Cancer Center; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA ; The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA ; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA.
4
Department of Surgery; University of Colorado; Aurora, CO USA.
5
Department of Surgery; Johns Hopkins University of School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA ; The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA ; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA ; Department of Oncology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA ; The Skip Viragh Pancreatic Cancer Center; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, MD USA.

Abstract

Pancreatic cancer is a lethal disease and currently available therapies have significant limitations. Pancreatic cancer is thus an ideal setting for the development of novel treatment modalities such as immunotherapy. However, relevant obstacles must be overcome for immunotherapeutic regimens against pancreatic cancer to be successful. Vaccine therapy relies on the administration of biological preparations that include an antigen that (at least ideally) is specifically expressed by malignant cells, boosting the natural ability of the immune system to react against neoplastic cells. There are a number of ways to deliver anticancer vaccines. Potent vaccines stimulate antigen presentation by dendritic cells, hence driving the expansion of antigen-specific effector and memory T cells. Unlike vaccines given as a prophylaxis against infectious diseases, anticancer vaccines require the concurrent administration of agents that interfere with the natural predisposition of tumors to drive immunosuppression. The safety and efficacy of vaccines against pancreatic cancer are nowadays being tested in early phase clinical trials.

KEYWORDS:

cancer vaccine; clinical trials; immune checkpoint; immunotherapy; pancreatic cancer

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