DNA vaccines for cancer

David A.K. Boyd, Chien Fu Hung, T. C. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Immunotherapy has become a potentially feasible strategy for the control of cancers; the goal of cancer vaccines is to achieve this via tumor antigen-specific humoral or cell-mediated immunity, as well as via innate immunity. DNA vaccines have become important immunotherapeutic agents for combating cancers due to their simplicity and safety, and their capacity for repeated administration. Continuing progress in our understanding of how professional antigen-presenting cells orchestrate immune responses provides a framework from which to design more effective DNA vaccines. To this end, innovative strategies to enhance DNA vaccine potency have been developed, including the modification of enhancement of antigen delivery, antigen processing, manipulation of apoptosis, and anti-angiogenic strategies. Furthermore, strategies for breaking immune tolerance to endogenous tumor-associated antigens have begun to be developed. These advances in DNA vaccine technology have led to significant results in preclinical tumor models, prompting the execution of a number of clinical trials of DNA vaccines for cancer. If these trials prove DNA vaccines to be clinically effective, they could lead to the development of a new generation of therapies for the treatment and/or prevention of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1155-1164
Number of pages10
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003


  • Cancer
  • Clinical trials
  • DNA vaccine
  • Naked DNA vaccine
  • Tolerance
  • Tumor-associated antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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