Limited efficacy of chemotherapy in most solid tumors has revived interest in immunotherapeutic approaches for cancer. One novel form of immunotherapy is the use of cancer vaccines consisting of tumor cells genetically engineered to secrete cytokines. The rationale for this immunization strategy is based on the existence of tumor-specific antigens, on the importance of the cellular arm of the immune system in mediating an effective antitumor response, and on the role of cytokines in regulating the cellular immune response. Such tumor vaccines showed considerable promise in various animal models and induced potent antitumor immunity in the host, which led to regression of established tumors and, moreover, produced immunological memory protecting animals from a subsequent tumor challenge at a distant site. Translated to the human patient, this implies that genetically modified tumor vaccines may be able to eradicate or reduce existing tumor deposits to subclinical levels as well as provide long-term protection from regrowth of tumor cells. This report will review and discuss the concept and rationale for the use of cytokine-secreting tumor vaccines for the treatment of human malignancies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research