Cancer Vaccine in Cold Tumors: Clinical Landscape, Challenges, and Opportunities

Rezaei M., Danilova N. D., Soltani M., Savvateeva L. V., Tarasov V. V., Ganjalikhani-Hakemi M., ...More

Current Cancer Drug Targets, vol.22, no.6, pp.437-453, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.2174/1568009622666220214103533
  • Journal Name: Current Cancer Drug Targets
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.437-453
  • Keywords: adjuvant, Cancer vaccine, cold tumors, combinational therapies, immune checkpoint inhibitors, immunogenic cell death
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No


The idea of cancer immunotherapy is to stimulate the immune system to fight tumors without destroying normal cells. One of the anticancer therapy methods, among many, is based on the use of cancer vaccines that contain tumor antigens in order to induce immune responses against tumors. However, clinical trials have shown that the use of such vaccines as monotherapy is ineffec-tive in many cases since they do not cause a strong immune response. Particular tumors are resistant to immunotherapy due to the absence or insufficient infiltration of tumors with CD8+ T cells, and hence, they are called cold or non-inflamed tumors. Cold tumors are characterized by a lack of CD8+ T cell infiltration, the presence of anti-inflammatory myeloid cells, tumor-associated M2 macrophag-es, and regulatory T cells. It is very important to determine the stage of the antitumor response that does not work properly in order to use the right strategy. Applying other therapeutic methods alongside cancer vaccines can be more rational for cold tumors, which do not provoke the immune system strongly. Herein, we indicate some combinational therapies that have been used or are in progress for cold tumor treatment alongside vaccines.