Active Immunotherapy: Current State of the Art in Vaccine Approaches for NHL
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- Palomba, M.L. Curr Oncol Rep (2012) 14: 433. doi:10.1007/s11912-012-0255-7
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Immune therapy of cancer is a rapidly evolving field, with long-deserved successes now finally achieved. As new pathways triggered by the immune synapsis are elucidated, and new molecules responsible for immune checkpoints are being discovered, it is becoming clear that vaccination against a single antigen aided by non-specific immune stimulation is not sufficient for an efficient, long term, immune response. Though lymphoma is a highly curable malignancy, there is still a subset of patients that is at very high risk of disease relapse even after successfully completing chemotherapy or a stem cell transplant. Patients with minimal residual disease are particularly suitable for vaccination. Over the past 3 decades, the classic model of lymphoma-specific idiotype vaccine has evolved and recent data on vaccination with nonspecific oligodeoxynucleotides has provided very encouraging results. Furthermore, the introduction of checkpoint blockade via agonist or antagonist monoclonal antibodies holds the promise of significant improvement in the efficacy of future vaccines. What follows is a brief summary of the historical highlights in lymphoma immunotherapy as well as an update on the most recently published clinical trials and a look at future developments.