Vaccination of patients with solid tumours

Giorgio Parmiani, L. Pilla, C. Castelli, L. Rivoltini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The molecular characterisation of human tumour antigens recognised by T cells has provided new impetus for immunisation of patients bearing tumours expressing well-defined antigens. After evaluating the immunogenicity of the new, molecularly characterised antigens in vitro, several clinical studies were conducted to assess the in vivo immunogenicity and the clinical efficacy of vaccines including these antigens. The findings generated by trials based on the administration of peptides or DNA-encoding antigens are discussed to highlight the limits of this therapeutic approach; however, this approach has resulted in some complete and durable regressions, although still in a unsatisfactory small number of cases (5-25%). The recent use of dendritic cells loaded ex vivo with tumour antigens suggests that a high frequency of tumour-specific immune responses can be achieved. Possible means of overcoming the clinical limits and improving the outcome of previous studies are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-824
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2003


  • Cancer
  • Melanoma
  • T cells
  • Tumour escape
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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