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Cancer Vaccines: From Research to Clinical Practice

2011 Edition, August 23, 2011

Complete Document

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Active, Most Current

Additional Comments:
ISBN: 978-1-84184-830-3
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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2011 Edition, August 23, 2011
  • Published Date: August 23, 2011
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: CRC Press (CRC)
  • Page Count: 298
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:


The Editors and the Publisher are pleased to bring out a new edition entitled Cancer Vaccines: From Research to Clinical Practice, as we step into a new era in which active cancer immunotherapy ("cancer vaccines") is fi nally recognized as an integral component of the therapeutic arsenal against cancer. As these exciting and high-impact developments have opened the gates to new investigational vaccines and catalyzed interest more broadly in immunotherapy, this book emphasizes the promising technologies and strategies that are more likely to fulfi ll the aim of "cancer vaccines." Simply put, this is because they are increasingly based on lessons learned from the direct study of humans. We designed this book targeting a broad audience spanning academia, biotech and pharmaceutical researchers, and others who are interested in cancer immunotherapy for personal, not-for-profi t, regulatory, or advocacy reasons.

As summarized by Albert Einstein's quote, the overarching message of the book is an invitation to all involved in this dynamic fi eld of research to take a step back and "look at the forest," acknowledging the long-term goal of our efforts: effective control of cancer with cure still representing the ultimate aim. Perfecting the experimental aspects of the induction, control, and measurement of immunity should be ancillary to its clinical relevance linked to the impact on tumor progression, parameters that could be accurately assessed only by studying human reality. These two aspects—immunity and clinical impact—are complementary, feeding each other through a critical sequence of events to effectively unleash the potential of "cancer vaccines" and other immune interventions for cancer as shown below:

1. Defi ne and focus on a limited number of immune interventions that yield measurable, consistent clinical responses.

2. Evaluate in depth the biological mechanisms that lead to objective responses in a clearly defi ned patient population.

3. Utilize this information to optimize and expedite development of current-generation vaccines, while designing superior strategies.

This means, effectively, transitioning from the current semi-empiric state of affairs in vaccine design and development to a systematic, rational process. As easy as it is to state, this goal may be diffi cult to achieve due to the limited frequency of objective clinical responses to cancer vaccines that reduce our opportunity to study them in clinical settings.

Why has progress been so slow? Perhaps it is time to question several paradigms (Box 1) that may need to be discarded, changed, or replaced by new ones. Perhaps, there is light at the end of the tunnel as several immune interventions are showing signs of statistically signifi cant clinical benefi t. This would offer a proof of concept and a fresh starting point for the sequence described above, breaking the cycle of "vaccine optimization" solely based on an immune response that we may only partially understand.

In addition to recently approved cancer vaccines—a landmark for modern medicine— and platform technologies in development, we take a look at several lessons learned from the past that uncovered hurdles, limitations, or opportunities for the development of current and future cancer vaccines and immune interventions in general.

We hope that this book provides more than a glance in this highly dynamic area of cancer research and conveys the overarching image that immune interventions carry the promise of viable and real long-term therapeutic benefi t for the cancer patients. In addition, we hope to leave readers with several key questions (Box 2) that, along with others mentioned throughout the book, need to be kept in mind and eventually addressed, should we wish to fully realize the potential of cancer vaccines.

In light of this progress, opportunities, and challenges and rejoicing in the approval of the fi rst therapeutic vaccines for cancer, Winston Churchill's famous quote comes naturally to mind: "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."