DNA vaccine for cancer immunotherapy

Benjamin Yang, Jessica Jeang, Andrew Yang, T. C. Wu, Chien Fu Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


DNA vaccination has emerged as an attractive immunotherapeutic approach against cancer due to its simplicity, stability, and safety. Results from numerous clinical trials have demonstrated that DNA vaccines are well tolerated by patients and do not trigger major adverse effects. DNA vaccines are also very cost effective and can be administered repeatedly for long-term protection. Despite all the practical advantages, DNA vaccines face challenges in inducing potent antigen specific cellular immune responses as a result of immune tolerance against endogenous self-antigens in tumors. Strategies to enhance immunogenicity of DNA vaccines against self-antigens have been investigated including encoding of xenogeneic versions of antigens, fusion of antigens to molecules that activate T cells or trigger associative recognition, priming with DNA vectors followed by boosting with viral vector, and utilization of immunomodulatory molecules. This review will focus on discussing strategies that circumvent immune tolerance and provide updates on findings from recent clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3153-3164
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Cellular immune response
  • DNA vaccines
  • Humoral immune response
  • Immune tolerance
  • Tumor antigens
  • Vaccine delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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