Eradication of cancer cells is imperative for a successful treatment of tumours. In addition to the existent chemotherapy or radiation therapy, other novel immunotherapeutic strategies to fight tumours are currently under investigation. One of these is cancer vaccination, an approach aimed at inducing effective immune responses in the host against defined tumour antigens. Among several classes of cancer vaccines, the subunit vaccines based on the single and multi epitope-approach are worthy of note as they offer an exquisite specificity in targeting only tumour cells. In this review we will focus on the significant advances made in the development and use of epitope-based cancer vaccines, reporting a selection of important and recent patents on tumour antigen discovery and epitope design for immunotherapy of cancer.
Keywords: Cancer, clinical trials, epitope enhancement, immunotherapy, ‘in silico’ prediction, tumour antigens, vaccine, web-based tools
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