Gene Therapy and Tumor Vaccines

The Eighth Annual Forbeck Forum covered one of the most exciting new topics to emerge in cancer therapy.  Basic immunologists as well as cancer immunologists and cancer gene therapists were brought together to develop new concepts in engineering the immune system to react against cancer antigens.  It is now known that cancer cells, because of genetic changes that occur during the process of cancer development, contain a number of new proteins, both on their cell surface and inside their cells, that distinguish them from the normal cells from which they arose.  If it were possible to train the immune system to recognize these cancer antigens as something foreign and unwanted in the body, then an individual's own immune system could be used to turn against and attack their cancer cells.