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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2016 Jan;65(1):93-9. doi: 10.1007/s00262-015-1728-y. Epub 2015 Jun 21.

Developments in cancer vaccines for hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Viral Oncology, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, "Fondazione Pascale" - Istituto di Ricerca e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS), Naples, Italy.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for about 6 % of all new cancers diagnosed worldwide and represents one of the leading causes of cancer-related death globally in men and women, respectively. The overall prognosis for HCC patients is poor, especially in the majority of patients with more advanced stage of disease. Indeed, in such cases immunotherapeutic strategies may represent a novel and effective tool. A few immunotherapy trials conducted for HCC have provided divergent results, urging the scientific community to explore additional paths to improve efficacy of immunotherapeutic approaches. The "Cancer Vaccine development for Hepatocellular Carcinoma"-HEPAVAC Consortium has been funded by the EU within the FP7 with the goal of developing a novel therapeutic peptide-based cancer vaccine strategy for HCC including both "off-the-shelf" and personalized antigens. This will be one of the very few vaccine trials for HCC and the first multi-epitope, multi-target and multi-HLA allele therapeutic cancer vaccine for such a frequent and aggressive disease with a hitherto high unmet medical need. Feasibility, safety and biological efficacy will be evaluated in a randomized, controlled European multicenter phase I/II clinical trial.


Cancer vaccine; HEPAVAC; HLA ligandome; Hepatocellular carcinoma; NIBIT 2014; Tumor-associated epitopes

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