Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapy
February 01, 2002
For the past 20 to 30 years, enormous resources have been directed toward the development of effective cancer immunotherapies. The interest in immunotherapeutic approaches comes from the potential specificity imparted by the recognition of tumor-specific antigens combined with the powerful cytolytic properties of cellular and humoral immune effector arms. Earlier attempts to induce and/or expand tumor antigen-specific immune responses in patients involved the systemic administration of cytokines such as interleukin-2 (Proleukin), or immunization with vaccines prepared from whole tumor cells or tumor cell lysates admixed with powerful immunologic adjuvants (stimulators). Unfortunately, only limited efficacy was achieved.