Aging and cancer vaccines

Claudia Gravekamp, Dinesh Chandra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Cancer vaccination is less effective at old than at young age, due to T cell unresponsiveness. This is caused by age-related changes of the immune system. Major immune defects at older age are lack of naïve T cells, impaired activation pathways of T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APC), and age-related changes in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Also innate immune responses are affected by aging, but this seems less abundant than adaptive immune responses. In this review we compared various cancer vaccine studies at young and old age, demonstrating the importance of both innate and adaptive immune responses for cancer immunotherapy. Moreover, we found suggestive evidence that innate immune responses could help improve adaptive immune responses through cancer vaccination in old age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-595
Number of pages11
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncogenesis
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2013


  • Adaptive immune responses
  • Aging
  • Cancer vaccination
  • Innate immune responses
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • T cell unresponsiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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