Therapeutic cancer vaccines, which stimulate the body's immune system to target and destroy cancer cells, are being used in combination with conventional chemotherapy with growing success, as described in several illuminating articles in Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (http://www.liebertpub.com). These articles are available free online at http://www.liebertpub.com/cbr
The U.S. FDA recently approved the first cancer therapeutic vaccine for treatment of metastatic prostate cancer. At least 14 other cancer vaccine strategies are in Phase II or III clinical trials for metastatic melanoma, lung cancer, and lymphoma, for example.
A critical perspective, "Recent Advances in Therapeutic Cancer Vaccines," (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/cbr.2012.1200) published in the Journal by Jeffrey Schlom, PhD, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD explains that a key advantage of cancer vaccines used in combination with chemotherapy is the extremely low level of toxicity. "The next frontier for vaccine therapy will be the use of vaccines in combination with certain chemotherapeutic agents, radiation, hormone therapy, and certain small molecule targeted therapies," according to Dr. Schlom.