Analysis of Humoral Immune Responses in Vaccine Trials

  • Rajasekharan Somasundaram
  • Tianqian Zhang
  • Dorothee Herlyn
Part of the Cancer Drug Discovery and Development book series (CDD&D)


It has been widely recognized that both cell-mediated and humoral immunity play important roles in the inhibition of tumor growth in vaccinated cancer patients. This chapter will only briefly summarize available data that emphasize a role of cellular immunity, including proliferating, cytokine-secreting, cytolytic and/or delayed-type hypersensitive (DTH) T lymphocytes, in the control of tumor growth. We will elaborate on why T lymphocytes often are ineffective against tumors, emphasizing the important role of humoral immunity in cancer growth control. This role has recently been highlighted by the approval of monoclonal antibody (MAb) treatments for cancer patients by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, the biological half-life of MAbs is short, rendering the induction of long-lasting active specific humoral immunity by vaccines a highly attractive alternative. Studies in animals have demonstrated a positive correlation between the induction of antibody responses following vaccination and tumor regression. Similarly, a correlation between humoral immune response induction and beneficial clinical responses has been demonstrated in cancer patients. Since vaccine- induced antibodies must bind to the tumor cell surface in order to destroy tumor cells in conjunction with effector cells or complement, emphasis is placed on those studies that have demonstrated the induction of tumor cell-binding antibodies by vaccines in cancer patients. The vast majority of studies have demonstrated binding of the elicited antibodies to proteins only and are only summarized here.


Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Melanoma Patient Humoral Immune Response Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin Tumor Cell Surface 
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© Humana Press Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajasekharan Somasundaram
  • Tianqian Zhang
  • Dorothee Herlyn

There are no affiliations available

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