Antigen-specific immunotherapy has emerged as an attractive approach for the treatment of cancers because it has the potency to specifically eradicate systemic tumors and control metastases without damaging normal cells. It is now clear that professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs), such as dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role in the generation of antigen-specific immune responses induced by cancer vaccines. Therefore, strategies to enhance the potency of cancer vaccines should focus on the modification of the properties of DCs either in vivo or ex vivo. These strategies include (1) increasing the number of antigen-expressing DCs; (2) improving antigen expression, processing, and presentation in DCs; (3) promoting DC activation and function; and (4) enhancing DC and T cell interaction to augment vaccine-elicited T cell immune responses. Because many of these strategies modify the properties of DCs to enhance cancer vaccine potency through different mechanisms, they could potentially be combined to generate highly potent cancer vaccines. The encouraging results from preclinical studies employing these strategies have led to several clinical trials. Continued exploration of innovative strategies to enhance cancer vaccine potency through the modification of DC properties may lead to the generation of more effective vaccines for the control of cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)