Biotechnology Letters, Vol.41, No.6-7, 641-650, 2019
Recent advances in carbohydrate-based cancer vaccines
Cancer is a complex multifactorial disease for which many promising therapeutic strategies such as immunotherapy are emerging. Malignant cells frequently express aberrant cell surface carbohydrates, which differentiate them from normal healthy cells. This characteristic presents a window for the development of synthetic carbohydrate antigen-based cancer vaccines which can be recognized by the immune system and can bring about T cell-dependent immune responses. Antibodies generated against the carbohydrate antigens partake in the inactivation of carbohydrate-decorated cancer cells, by slowing down tumor cell growth and inducing cancer cell apoptosis. Novel synthetic strategies for carbohydrate antigens have led to several synthetic cancer vaccine candidates. In the present review, we describe the latest progress in carbohydrate-based cancer vaccines and their clinical evaluation in various cancers.