Immunization with tumour
cells

Having
tumor cells as the source of biological material for a vaccine is another
therapeutic vaccination strategy for cancer. Immunization with tumor cells can
originate from autologous or allogenic tumour cells. Preparation and
administration of allogenic or autologous tumor vaccines can be done by using
irradiated whole cells or cell lysates. This ensure that the injected tumour
cells are incapable of replicating, hence allowing the vaccine to be safe and
reproducible for use.

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Autologous
tumour cells are derived from patient’s tumour for personalized treatment and
this vaccination is usually done so that patients are vaccinated using similar
tumor antigens from the tumor that their tumor expresses. The advantage
autologous vaccine has over allogenic vaccines is that it contains all of the
TAAs found in patient’s tumours and hence, the vaccine will express patient’s
own MHC types to allow presentation of processed TAAs to the immune system. As
autologous tumor cells share similar major histocompatibility complexes (MHC)
as the cells of the patient’s immune system, they may also mimic as antigen
presenting cells (APCs).  This approach
is also expensive and time consuming as developing a vaccine line that expresses a standardized amount of
cytokine is not always attainable. In a trial which autologous vaccine
was administered with BCG as an adjuvant involving patients with stage I and II
colon cancer following surgery, there were no significant differences in
survival were found although better disease-free survival and overall survival
in response to the vaccine (Harris JE, et al., 2000).

On
the other hand, allogenic tumour vaccines contain tumour cells that originates
from another different individual but of the same species. The advantage of
using allogenic vaccine is that it can be produced in large amounts and made
easily available. Several different cell lines from different tumours can be
used to create a vaccine and therefore, the vaccine will most likely contain
cells that are also expressed by the patient’s tumour which may include certain
tumour antigens that are overexpressed or mutated in high amount in a certain
cancer. Polyvalent melanoma cell vaccine(PMCV) contains a number of melanoma
antigens that would be able to cover more that 95% of the population (Chan &
Morton, 1998)
However, the major concern in using allogenic tumour vaccine is the HLA
mismatch that occur can between the patient and the vaccinating line which will
result an immune response directed towards the foreign HLA molecules instead of
the tumour antigens. 

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