Idiotypic Vaccination: Still a Unique form of Cancer Immunotherapy for Follicular Lymphoma after 20 Years

  • Inogés S
  • de Cerio A
  • Villanueva H
  • et al.
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Idiotypic vaccination for folicular lymphoma induces a tumor-specific immune response which may kill tumor cells in vivo and prevent tumor relapse in patients. However, being based on a personalized vaccine against a person's own tumor, large scale randomized studies have produced contradictory results. The objective of this review is to define what an idiotype is and to outline the major results of twenty years of clinical research on idiotypic vaccination. We first identified the major proofs of principle obtained by its use between 1992 and 2006, focusing on both our and others' contributions. Then, we analyzed the results of randomized clinical trials, which have become available ove the last five years, and provided some of our most recent and original data. A combination of immunological methods should be employed for proper interpretation of immune response following idiotypic vaccination. We describe some of the methods used to measure immune responses and identify tumor idiotype sequences. Some of the older methods (e.g. ELISA) may, in some instances, be misleading, and should be validated using different methods (e.g. flow cytometry). Moreover, patients who relapse years after the end of the vaccination schedule, may have undergone changes in tumor idiotype tumor idiotypes that have undergone substantial changes and is advisable to test the tumor clone at relapse to ascertain it. While idiotypic vaccination has provided proof-of-principle of effectiveness, the data necessary for regulatory approval has yet to be generated. Therefore, better designed, confirmatory clinical trials of idiotypic vaccination are necessary.




Inogés, S., de Cerio, A., Villanueva, H., Pastor, F., Soldevilla, M., Soria, E., & Bendandi, M. (2013). Idiotypic Vaccination: Still a Unique form of Cancer Immunotherapy for Follicular Lymphoma after 20 Years. Advances in Cancer: Research & Treatment, 1–13.

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