Immuno-gene therapy approaches for cancer: from in vitro studies to clinical trials
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Immunotherapy against cancer basically aims at either broadly stimulating the immune system or at engineering an immune response against a targeted tumor associated antigen (TAA). In this review, we focus on the translation of immuno-gene therapy strategies into clinical trials for various cancers. Rather than being an exhaustive compendium of the literature, the focus of this article is to underline how anti-cancer immunotherapy strategies have evolved recently. Previously, studies have used different vectors to either express immuno-stimulatory molecules or a targeted TAA. Investigators are now directing efforts to both target a TAA and to stimulate the immune system by direct or viral administration of cytokines or co-stimulatory molecules. Some groups have also tried to combine genetic immunotherapy with chemotherapy, and results have been encouraging. This novel concept might open new perspectives for the treatment of patients with advanced-stage cancer.
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