Generation of more effective cancer vaccines

Daniela Fenoglio, Paolo Traverso, Alessia Parodi, Francesca Kalli, Maurizio Zanetti, Gilberto Filaci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cancer vaccines represent a promising therapeutic approach for which prime time is imminent. However, clinical efficacy must be improved in order for cancer vaccines to become a valid alternative or complement to traditional cancer treatments. Considerable efforts have been undertaken so far to better understand the fundamental requirements for clinically-effective cancer vaccines. Recent data emphasize that important requirements, among others, are (1) the use of multi-epitope immunogens, possibly deriving from different tumor antigens; (2) the selection of effective adjuvants; (3) the association of cancer vaccines with agents able to counteract the regulatory milieu present in the tumor microenvironment; and (4) the need to choose the definitive formulation and regimen of a vaccine after accurate preliminary tests comparing different antigen formulations. The first requirement deals with issues related to HLA restriction of tumor antigen presentation, as well as usefulness of tumor antigen spreading and counteraction of immune escape phenomena, linked to tumor antigen down-modulation, for an effective anti-cancer immune response. The second point underscores the necessity of optimal activation of innate immunity to achieve an efficient adaptive anti-cancer immune response. The third point focuses on the importance to inhibit subsets of regulatory cells. The last requirement stresses the concept that the regimen and formulation of the vaccine impacts profoundly on cancer vaccine efficacy. a new generation of cancer vaccines, provided with both immunological and clinical effi-cacy, will hopefully soon address these requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2543-2547
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Adjuvants
  • Cancer vaccines
  • Combinatorial therapy
  • Telomerase
  • Tumor antigen
  • Tumor immune escape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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