In DepthIMMUNOTHERAPY

Personalized tumor vaccines keep cancer in check

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Science  14 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6334, pp. 122
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6334.122

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Summary

A new approach to fighting cancer that tailors a vaccine to mutated proteins in an individual's tumor is gaining traction. In two small clinical trials, a personalized vaccine appears to have helped prevent early relapses in a total of 12 people with skin cancer. These "neoantigen" vaccines also may have helped several others by boosting the power of a new type of cancer drug that uses a different mechanism to unleash an immune attack on the tumor. The two studies, one presented last week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C., are promising. But larger trials will be needed to show whether the vaccines help extend the lives of cancer patients.