Outlining Novel Cellular Adjuvant Products for Therapeutic Vaccines Against Cancer

Josianne Nitcheu Tefit; Vincent Serra


Expert Rev Vaccines. 2011;10(8):1207-1220. 

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Expert Commentary

Despite many advances, nontoxic adjuvants capable of strongly inducing cellular immune response are still unavailable. Most currently licensed adjuvants, such as alum, stimulate Th2 responses, making them unsuitable for a large number of applications requiring CTL-mediated immune responses, including cancer. To date, thousands of patients have participated in late-stage clinical trials of anticancer therapies. Results have been frustrating, as many 'off the shelf' vaccines failed to meet clinical end points in pivotal Phase III stages after promising early trials. Only a few products are on the market, including Sipuleucel-T, recently approved in the USA. The development of many already discovered adjuvants with high potential to serve as adjuvant to augment T-cell responses, as well as the discovery of new adjuvants, is key to improving the prospects of cancer vaccine development. Promising approaches involve combinations of immunostimulatory adjuvants with efficacious delivery vehicle, and a remarkable clinical result in this respect was demonstrated in a vaccine trial with CpG and Montanide in melanoma patients, showing clear-cut evidence of generating CD8+ immune responses. Importantly, performance of GSK's adjuvant systems combining their own adjuvant MPL with QS-21 and CpG will have a crucial impact on the prospects of such combination approaches.


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