Posts Tagged “vaccinolgy”

The target

Cancer: An abnormal uncontrolled proliferation of cells. The immune system doesn’t show any response, as the cancer cells are just some normal cells, which have gone crazy. That means that they could deceive our immune system, which recognizes them as normal.

The point of weakness

Cancer cells usually express so-called cancer-specific antigens, which are not otherwise expressed by normal cells.

The mission

Using these antigens as a method of differentiation, we have to teach our immune system to wipe out these cells without affecting the innocent normal ones.


Whole cell vaccines: using tumor cells, derived from a patient or many patients or use human tumor cell lines designed in lab. This will elicit the immune response for all the antigens on cancer cells.


Antigen vaccines: using a specific antigen on the cancer cell through identifying a certain gene, then cloning the gene, which encodes for it.


Adjuvants: using chemical substances to enhance T-cell response such as Interleukin-2 “IL2”.

Vector: using viral vectors to deliver the gene of interest to cells, which makes the cancer more visible to the immune system.

Major obstacle

One major obstacle facing cancer vaccines is that the response is not readily measurable. For chemotherapeutic drugs development, the end point is usually progression-free survival, which has shorter-term outcomes. Cancer vaccines are characterized by longer-term outcomes and increased survival rate.

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