Vaccination Strategies in NSCLC Patients
Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) is often diagnosed in an advanced stage. In this setting the disease is associated with an unfavourable prognosis. Although recent therapeutic advances using molecularly targeted agents enable an improved prognosis, most patients still have a poor outcome. Many tumor antigens have been identified in NSCLC and the activation of tumour antigen-specific immunity mediated by vaccination strategies is widely accepted as an attractive new therapeutic strategy.
Different therapeutic cancer vaccines are currently under clinical development. In clinical studies vaccination protocols targeting tumour antigens like MAGE-A3, MUC1 and hTERT have resulted in favourable survival data. Mode of action as well as available clinical data in phase II and III studies are reviewed. The success of this ongoing tumour antigen-specific vaccination approaches is hampered by local immunosuppressive factors like TGF-β and PD-1. Promising data have been obtained by inhibition of these factors facilitating effective tumour specific immune responses. Also in this particular field we will give an update on the most promising approaches.