Heat-shock proteins-based immunotherapy for advanced melanoma in the era of target therapies and immunomodulating agents

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Introduction: Heat-shock proteins (HSPs) are highly conserved, stress-induced proteins that function as chaperones, stabilizing proteins and delivering peptides. Tumor-derived HSP peptide complexes (HSPPCs) induced immunity against several malignancies in preclinical models, exhibiting activity across tumor types. Areas covered: HSPPC-based vaccination showed clinical activity in subsets of patients with different malignancies (e.g., gastric, colorectal, pancreatic, ovarian cancer, and glioblastoma). In Phase III clinical trials for advanced melanoma and renal cell carcinoma patients, HSPPC-based vaccine demonstrated an excellent safety profile, thus emerging as a flexible tumor- and patient-specific therapeutic approach. Expert opinion: Melanoma, renal clear cell carcinoma, and glioblastoma are among suitable targets for HSP-based treatment as demonstrated by immune responses and clinical activity observed in subsets of patients, mainly those with early stage of disease and limited tumor burden. In order to further improve clinical activity, combinations of HSPPC-based vaccines with mutation-driven therapies, antiangiogenic agents, or immunomodulating monoclonal antibodies should be tested in controlled clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-967
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Heat-shock protein
  • Immunotherapy
  • Melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Medicine(all)

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