Polyclonal immune responses to antigens associated with cancer signaling pathways and new strategies to enhance cancer vaccines
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- Clay, T.M., Osada, T., Hartman, Z.C. et al. Immunol Res (2011) 49: 235. doi:10.1007/s12026-010-8186-6
Aberrant signaling pathways are a hallmark of cancer. A variety of strategies for inhibiting signaling pathways have been developed, but monoclonal antibodies against receptor tyrosine kinases have been among the most successful. A challenge for these therapies is therapeutic unresponsiveness and acquired resistance due to mutations in the receptors, upregulation of alternate growth and survival pathways, or inadequate function of the monoclonal antibodies. Vaccines are able to induce polyclonal responses that can have a multitude of affects against the target molecule. We began to explore therapeutic vaccine development to antigens associated with these signaling pathways. We provide an illustrative example in developing therapeutic cancer vaccines inducing polyclonal adaptive immune responses targeting the ErbB family member HER2. Further, we will discuss new strategies to augment the clinical efficacy of cancer vaccines by enhancing vaccine immunogenicity and reversing the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.