DNA vaccination strategies for anti-tumour effective gene therapy protocols

Emanuela Signori, Sandra Iurescia, Emanuela Massi, Daniela Fioretti, Pieranna Chiarella, Mariangela De Robertis, Monica Rinaldi, Giancarlo Tonon, Vito Michele Fazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


After more than 15 years of experimentation, DNA vaccines have become a promising perspective for tumour diseases, and animal models are widely used to study the biological features of human cancer progression and to test the efficacy of vaccination protocols. In recent years, immunisation with naked plasmid DNA encoding tumour-associated antigens or tumour-specific antigens has revealed a number of advantages: antigen-specific DNA vaccination stimulates both cellular and humoral immune responses; multiple or multi-gene vectors encoding several antigens/determinants and immune-modulatory molecules can be delivered as single administration; DNA vaccination does not induce autoimmune disease in normal animals; DNA vaccines based on plasmid vectors can be produced and tested rapidly and economically. However, DNA vaccines have shown low immunogenicity when tested in human clinical trials, and compared with traditional vaccines, they induce weak immune responses. Therefore, the improvement of vaccine efficacy has become a critical goal in the development of effective DNA vaccination protocols for anti-tumour therapy. Several strategies are taken into account for improving the DNA vaccination efficacy, such as antigen optimisation, use of adjuvants and delivery systems like electroporation, co-expression of cytokines and co-stimulatory molecules in the same vector, different vaccination protocols. In this review we discuss how the combination of these approaches may contribute to the development of more effective DNA vaccination protocols for the therapy of lymphoma in a mouse model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1583-1591
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • B cell lymphoma
  • Cancer vaccine
  • DNA vaccination
  • Genetic immunisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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