Chemotherapy: Friend or foe to cancer vaccines?

L. A. Emens, J. P. Machiels, R. T. Reilly, E. M. Jaffee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Cancer vaccines are on the threshold of taking their place alongside the more traditional cancer treatment modalities of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The toxicology and immunopharmacology of therapeutic cancer vaccines, particularly those that secrete granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), are currently under active clinical investigation. Interestingly, drugs traditionally used for tumor cytoreduction can have both positive and negative effects on host immunity. Exploration of the potential pharmacodynamic interactions of antineoplastic drugs with GM-CSF-secreting vaccines has revealed that low doses of some chemotherapeutics can augment the antitumor immunity induced by GM-CSF-secreting vaccines. These interactions will require thorough preclinical evaluation to maximize the clinical impact of this type of therapeutic cancer vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Molecular Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Cancer therapy
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Doxorubicin
  • GM-CSF-secreting cancer vaccines
  • Immunopotentiation
  • Paclitaxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Genetics(clinical)


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