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Cancer is a global health challenge, with changing demographics and lifestyle factors producing an increasing burden worldwide. Screening advancements are enabling earlier diagnoses, but current cancer immunotherapies only induce remission in a small proportion of patients and come at a high cost. Cancer vaccines may offer a solution to these challenges, but they have been mired by poor results in past decades. Greater understanding of tumor biology, coupled with the success of vaccine technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic, has reinvigorated cancer vaccine development. With the first signs of efficacy being reported, cancer vaccines may be beginning to fulfill their potential. Solid tumors, however, present different hurdles than infectious diseases. Combining insights from previous cancer vaccine clinical development and contemporary knowledge of tumor immunology, we ask: who are the 'right' patients, what are the 'right' targets, and which are the 'right' modalities to maximize the chances of cancer vaccine success?

Original publication




Journal article


Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics

Publication Date





Infinitopes Ltd, Oxford, UK.


Humans, Neoplasms, Cancer Vaccines, Immunotherapy, Pandemics, Global Health, COVID-19