Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, resulting in 8.2 million or 14.6% of all human deaths worldwide in 2012. More than 70% of all cancer deaths occurred in low and middle income countries; although the risk of developing/dying from it is still higher in the developed regions of the world, and tobacco use is the cause of about 22% of cancer deaths which is still a major public health problem worldwide that requires new strategies and treatment modalities to optimize patient outcomes. However, the perception of the clinical importance of cancer vaccines has been undermined by a history full of well-meaning but mostly failed attempts to treat patients with ill-defined formulations. Growing knowledge of immunology has influenced approaches to vaccine design over the past centuries, producing different types of vaccines with various associated advantages and challenges. The lack of effective active immunotherapy has led to the development of numerous novel strategies such as the common cancer vaccine strategies and designs. These are: protein subunit and peptide vaccine, dendritic cell vaccine, DNA fusion vaccine, antibody directed vaccine, cell based cancer vaccine, recombinant viral and bacterial cancer vaccine. The majority of cancer vaccines aim to induce a cellular antigen-specific T-cell response. Therefore, effective cancer vaccines must resolve several challenges such as cancer vaccines seek to target an antigen specific to the tumor and distinct from self-proteins. Cancer vaccines should require selection of the appropriate adjuvant and also seek to provide long term memory to prevent tumor recurrence, and both the innate and adaptive immune systems should be activated for total tumor elimination.
Key words: Cancer, tumor cells, vaccine strategies.
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