Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 174378, 16 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/174378
Review Article

DNA Vaccines: Developing New Strategies against Cancer

1Institute of Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine, Department of Medicine, National Research Council (CNR), Via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Rome, Italy
2Section of Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology, Interdisciplinary Center for Biomedical Research, University Campus Bio-Medico, Via Álvaro del Portillo 21, 00128 Rome, Italy
3Unità Operativa Oncologia, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy

Received 20 November 2009; Accepted 5 February 2010

Academic Editor: Soldano Ferrone

Copyright © 2010 Daniela Fioretti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Due to their rapid and widespread development, DNA vaccines have entered into a variety of human clinical trials for vaccines against various diseases including cancer. Evidence that DNA vaccines are well tolerated and have an excellent safety profile proved to be of advantage as many clinical trials combines the first phase with the second, saving both time and money. It is clear from the results obtained in clinical trials that such DNA vaccines require much improvement in antigen expression and delivery methods to make them sufficiently effective in the clinic. Similarly, it is clear that additional strategies are required to activate effective immunity against poorly immunogenic tumor antigens. Engineering vaccine design for manipulating antigen presentation and processing pathways is one of the most important aspects that can be easily handled in the DNA vaccine technology. Several approaches have been investigated including DNA vaccine engineering, co-delivery of immunomodulatory molecules, safe routes of administration, prime-boost regimen and strategies to break the immunosuppressive networks mechanisms adopted by malignant cells to prevent immune cell function. Combined or single strategies to enhance the efficacy and immunogenicity of DNA vaccines are applied in completed and ongoing clinical trials, where the safety and tolerability of the DNA platform are substantiated. In this review on DNA vaccines, salient aspects on this topic going from basic research to the clinic are evaluated. Some representative DNA cancer vaccine studies are also discussed.