Reports of novel developments in tumor vaccines that have appeared in the year ending May 1, 2002 are reviewed here. Antigenic moieties were revealed for tumors previously considered nonimmunogenic. The use of peptides spanning mutations detected exclusively in tumor tissue avoids the common concern for autoimmune responses. Carbohydrate biology is revealing novel antigenic moieties. The search for helper epitopes from tumor antigens has come into full swing. Humoral immunity is regaining terrain, particularly through the development of antiidiotypic antibodies. Major steps forward have been made in optimizing modes and routes of antigen delivery and in the use of immune adjuvants. In the clinic, phase I/II trials support the notion that tumor vaccines are safe. Because these trials are conducted in patients in whom tumor remission is not a realistic endpoint, patient responses were established by immune monitoring strategies to detect subtle changes in antitumor reactivity. Both clinical and laboratory data stress the vast potential of tumor vaccines for the treatment of cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research