Cancer vaccines

The identification of tumour-associated antigens could pave the way for the development of a range of cancer vaccines. A number of tumour-associated antigens have already been characterized, as described previously. Theoretically, administration of tumour-associated antigens may effectively immunize an individual against any cancer type characterized by expression of the tumour-associated antigen in question. Co-administration of a strong adjuvant (see Section 13.5) would be advantageous, as it would stimulate an enhanced immune response. This is important, as many tumour-associated antigens appear to be weak immunogens. Administration of subunit-based tumour-associated antigen vaccines would primarily stimulate a humoral immune response.

The use of viral vectors may ultimately prove more effective, as a T-cell response appears to be central to the immunological destruction of cancer cells.

The latter approach has been adopted in experimental studies involving malignant melanoma. These transformed cells express significantly elevated levels of a surface glycoprotein, p97. p97 is also expressed (but at far lower levels) on the surface of many normal cell types. Initial animal studies have indicated that administration of a recombinant vaccinia vector expressing p97 has a protective effect against challenge with melanoma cells. However, protracted safety studies would be required in this, or similar, instances to prove that such vaccines would not, for example, induce an autoimmune response if the antigen was not wholly tumour specific. The development of truly effective cancer vaccines probably requires a more comprehensive understanding of the transformed phenotype and how these cells normally evade immune surveillance in the first place. Not withstanding this, limited clinical studies in this field have already begun.

How To Prevent Skin Cancer

How To Prevent Skin Cancer

Complete Guide to Preventing Skin Cancer. We all know enough to fear the name, just as we do the words tumor and malignant. But apart from that, most of us know very little at all about cancer, especially skin cancer in itself. If I were to ask you to tell me about skin cancer right now, what would you say? Apart from the fact that its a cancer on the skin, that is.

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