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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 596432, 13 pages
Review Article

Strategies for Cancer Vaccine Development

Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

Received 13 January 2010; Accepted 17 May 2010

Academic Editor: Zhengguo Xiao

Copyright © 2010 Matteo Vergati 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.


Treating cancer with vaccines has been a challenging field of investigation since the 1950s. Over the years, the lack of effective active immunotherapies has led to the development of numerous novel strategies. However, the use of therapeutic cancer vaccines may be on the verge of becoming an effective modality. Recent phase II/III clinical trials have achieved hopeful results in terms of overall survival. Yet despite these encouraging successes, in general, very little is known about the basic immunological mechanisms involved in vaccine immunotherapy. Gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms that govern the specific immune responses (i.e., cytotoxic T lymphocytes, CD4 T helper cells, T regulatory cells, cells of innate immunity, tumor escape mechanisms) elicited by each of the various vaccine platforms should be a concern of cancer vaccine clinical trials, along with clinical benefits. This review focuses on current strategies employed by recent clinical trials of therapeutic cancer vaccines and analyzes them both clinically and immunologically.