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Cancers 2011, 3(3), 3114-3142; doi:10.3390/cancers3033114
Review

Immune Modulation by Chemotherapy or Immunotherapy to Enhance Cancer Vaccines

1,2,* , 2,3
 and 1
1 Suite 411, 1344 Summer St., Immunovaccine Inc., Halifax, NS, B3H 0A8, Canada 2 Room 11-L1, Sir Charles Tupper Building, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Dalhousie University, 5850 College St, Halifax, NS, B3H 1X5, Canada 3 Room 206E, Dr. D. J. Mackenzie Building, Department of Pathology, Dalhousie University, 5788 University Avenue, Halifax, NS, B3H 2Y9, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 June 2011 / Revised: 27 July 2011 / Accepted: 28 July 2011 / Published: 5 August 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapy)
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Abstract

Chemotherapy has been a mainstay in cancer treatment for many years. Despite some success, the cure rate with chemotherapy remains unsatisfactory in some types of cancers, and severe side effects from these treatments are a concern. Recently, understanding of the dynamic interplay between the tumor and immune system has led to the development of novel immunotherapies, including cancer vaccines. Cancer vaccines have many advantageous features, but their use has been hampered by poor immunogenicity. Many developments have increased their potency in pre-clinical models, but cancer vaccines continue to have a poor clinical track record. In part, this could be due to an inability to effectively overcome tumor-induced immune suppression. It had been generally assumed that immune-stimulatory cancer vaccines could not be used in combination with immunosuppressive chemotherapies, but recent evidence has challenged this dogma. Chemotherapies could be used to condition the immune system and tumor to create an environment where cancer vaccines have a better chance of success. Other types of immunotherapies could also be used to modulate the immune system. This review will discuss how immune modulation by chemotherapy or immunotherapy could be used to bolster the effects of cancer vaccines and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these treatments.
Keywords: cancer; vaccine; chemotherapy; immunotherapy; immune-modulation cancer; vaccine; chemotherapy; immunotherapy; immune-modulation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Weir, G.M.; Liwski, R.S.; Mansour, M. Immune Modulation by Chemotherapy or Immunotherapy to Enhance Cancer Vaccines. Cancers 2011, 3, 3114-3142.

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