Cancer vaccination: Manipulation of immune responses at old age

Claudia Gravekamp, Sun Hee Kim, Francisco Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The incidence of cancer has increased over the last decade, mainly due to an increase in the elderly population. Vaccine therapy for cancer is less toxic than chemotherapy or radiation and could be, therefore, especially effective in older, more frail cancer patients. However, it has been shown that older individuals do not respond to vaccine therapy as well as younger adults. This has been attributed to T-cell unresponsiveness, a phenomenon also observed in cancer patients per se. This review summarizes the current knowledge of impaired T-cell responses in cancer patients and the elderly, and the results of cancer vaccination in preclinical models at young and old age. Finally, various approaches how to manipulate immune responses against cancer by vaccination at older age will be proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Cancer vaccines
  • Immunotherapy
  • Impaired T-cell responses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology


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