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Immunobiology and gene-based immunotherapy of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie
Publication Date
Volume
41
Issue
11
Pages
1101–1110
Identifiers
PMID: 14648380
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Until now, a variety of specific and non-specific immunostimulatory strategies against HCC has been applied in preclinical experimental models with some promising results. The molecular characterization of HCC associated tumour antigens such as alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and the increased understanding of the immunological pathways involved in liver and tumor immunology have paved the way for the design of promising gene-based cancer vaccines. The first phase I and II immunotherapeutic clinical trials based on dendritic cell immunotherapy and peptide vaccines are ongoing in HCC-patients. Clinical trials have, in general, demonstrated the safety of such strategies. Recently, exciting new immunological techniques and tools have been developed which allow to characterize antigen specific T cells at a single-cell level. In future, HCC specific tumor rejection antigens which can be used therapeutically have to be identified using microarray-based analysis. The different therapeutic modalities need to be compared directly resulting in optimised therapeutic approaches and the identification of sub-groups of HCC-patients responding favourably to treatment.

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