Realizing the promise of breast cancer vaccines
Erica Jackson, Hatem Soliman
University of South Florida/Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA
Abstract: Breast cancer vaccines are being developed to stimulate adaptive antitumor immune responses in patients. These vaccines have the potential to treat breast cancer with minimal side effects and toxicity. However, many obstacles still need to be overcome to fully realize the vaccines' clinical benefit. A review of the literature was conducted to assess the use of vaccines in targeting transformed cells. Four vaccines currently under study were discussed, each summarizing the different vaccine platforms used to introduce target antigen to the patient's immune system. The advantages and disadvantages of each method were discussed, although no one method was found to be superior. Additional issues addressed included overcoming tumor-induced immunosuppression, immune evasion of transformed cells, the use of vaccines in combination therapy, and the challenges of using these vaccines in various clinical settings. Vaccines may be most effective in patients with minimal residual disease, as opposed to using them in the metastatic setting. Also, specific clinical trial design considerations for the use of vaccines in cancer patients, such as time-to-failure end points, were discussed. Understanding these various elements will be important to the translation of breast cancer vaccine therapy into routine clinical practice.
Keywords: breast cancer, vaccine, immunotherapy, immune tolerance, peptide vaccine, dendritic cell vaccine
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