Indexed on: 25 Oct '14Published on: 25 Oct '14Published in: Neuro-oncology
Immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer have shown remarkable promise. A critical barrier to successfully executing such immune-mediated interventions is the selection of safe yet immunogenic targets. As patient deaths have occurred when tumor-associated antigens shared by normal tissue have been targeted by strong cellular immunotherapeutic platforms, route of delivery, target selection and the immune-mediated approach undertaken must work together to maximize efficacy with safety. Selected tumor-specific targets can spare potential toxicity to normal tissue; however, they are far less common than tumor-associated antigens and may not be present on all patients. In the context of immunotherapy for high-grade glioma, 2 of the most prominently studied antigens are the tumor-associated epidermal growth factor receptor and its tumor-specific genetic deletion variant III. In this review, we will summarize the immune-mediated strategies employed against these targets as well as the caveats particular to these approaches.