The Changing Landscape of Therapeutic Cancer Vaccines-Novel Platforms and Neoantigen Identification.
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Therapeutic cancer vaccines, an exciting development in cancer immunotherapy, share the goal of creating and amplifying tumor-specific T-cell responses, but significant obstacles still remain to their success. Here, we briefly outline the principles underlying cancer vaccine therapy with a focus on novel vaccine platforms and antigens, underscoring the renewed optimism. Numerous strategies have been investigated to overcome immunosuppressive mechanisms of the tumor microenvironment (TME) and counteract tumor escape, including improving antigen selection, refining delivery platforms, and use of combination therapies. Several new cancer vaccine platforms and antigen targets are under development. In an effort to amplify tumor-specific T-cell responses, a heterologous prime-boost antigen delivery strategy is increasingly used for virus-based vaccines. Viruses have also been engineered to express targeted antigens and immunomodulatory molecules simultaneously, to favorably modify the TME. Nanoparticle systems have shown promise as delivery vectors for cancer vaccines in preclinical research. T-win is another platform targeting both tumor cells and the TME, using peptide-based vaccines that engage and activate T cells to target immunoregulatory molecules expressed on immunosuppressive and malignant cells. With the availability of next-generation sequencing, algorithms for neoantigen selection are emerging, and several bioinformatic platforms are available to select therapeutically relevant neoantigen targets for developing personalized therapies. However, more research is needed before the use of neoepitope prediction and personalized immunotherapy becomes commonplace. Taken together, the field of therapeutic cancer vaccines is fast evolving, with the promise of potential synergy with existing immunotherapies for long-term cancer treatment.
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Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 2021, 27 (3), pp. 689 - 703