Currently, many peptide vaccines are undergoing clinical studies. Most of these vaccines were developed to activate cytotoxic T cells; however, the response is not robust. Unlike vaccines, anti-cancer antibodies based on passive immunity have been approved as a standard treatment. Since passive immunity is more effective in tumor treatment, the evidence suggests that limited B cell epitope-based peptide vaccines may have similar activity. Nevertheless, such peptide vaccines have not been intensively developed primarily because humoral immunity is thought to be preferable to cancer progression. B cells secrete cytokines, which suppress immune functions. This review discusses the possibility of therapeutic antibody induction by a peptide vaccine and the role of active and passive B cell immunity in cancer patients. We also discuss the use of humanized mice as a pre-clinical model. The necessity of a better understanding of the activity of B cells in cancer is also discussed.
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