Poxvirus-based vaccines have a long record of efficacy as both anti-tumour agents and vectors for gene therapy in different
human tumour models. Interestingly, several studies of these vaccines have now entered the clinical evaluation phase for safety and
effectiveness. A desirable outcome of antigen specific cancer immunotherapy is the disruption of host self-tolerance against endogenous
tumour-associated antigens (TAAs). Nonetheless, recent studies have found reductions in vaccine efficacy due to host anti-vaccine
immune reactions. Thus, newer approaches bringing together poxvirus-based vaccination and immunostimulation are being developed,
and new poxvirus strains are being examined in tumour therapy studies.
Our review summarizes the current knowledge on the efficacy of poxvirus-based vaccination on human tumours, with a particular focus
on approaches aimed at increasing innate and specific immune responses. Special attention will be devoted to the new poxvirus strains
that are currently under consideration for tumour therapy; the current knowledge on clinical trials and outcomes will also be reviewed.
Keywords: Avipoxviruses, cancer vaccine, cytokines, immunostimulation, poxviruses, tumour-associated antigens.
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