Cancer Vaccines in Combination with Multimodality Therapy

  • Leisha A. Emens
  • R. Todd Reilly
  • Elizabeth M. Jaffee
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 123)


Improvements in our understanding of tumor immunology have facilitated significant progress in the development of cancer vaccines. Early clinical trials have generated evidence for the safety of tumor vaccines, and have provided a suggestion of clinically significant bioactivity. They have also highlighted the challenges of cancer vaccine development. These include developing strategies for overcoming immune tolerance, and approaches for identifying the most active tumor rejection antigens for cancer vaccine formulation. Furthermore, these early studies highlight the importance of identifying important pharmacodynamic interactions between standard cancer treatment modalities and tumor vaccines. Surgical debulking is one approach for minimizing the impact of tumor burden, and patients with minimal residual disease are likely to be the most ideal candidates for vaccine therapy. The impact of chemotherapy on vaccine activity is a developing area of clinical research, with regard to both its positive and negative impact on the development of antigenspecific immunity. The impact of ionizing radiation on the immune response to cancer vaccines is an underdeveloped area that also warrants further investigation.

Finally, the advent of biologically targeted therapies such as the monoclonal antibodies Trastuzumab and Rituximab offer new opportunities for combining cancer vaccines with novel drugs in combinatorial treatment strategies with the potential for significant synergism. It is clear that the careful preclinical and clinical investigation of these issues will guide the most effective clinical testing of cancer vaccines, and facilitate their ultimate incorporation into standard clinical practice.


Clin Oncol Immune Tolerance Cancer Vaccine Antitumor Immunity Multimodality Therapy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leisha A. Emens
    • 1
  • R. Todd Reilly
  • Elizabeth M. Jaffee
  1. 1.Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns HopkinsThe Johns Hopkins University, School of MedicineBaltimore

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