Combining cancer vaccines with chemotherapy.
Clinical experience is now demonstrating the efficacy of combining chemotherapy and targeted therapies. Although the combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy would at first seem to be counterproductive, supportive preclinical and clinical data have revealed that cyclophosphamide, gemcitabine and doxorubicin enhance the efficacy of vaccines when used as a form of 'pretreatment'. Possible mechanisms of action include inhibition of regulatory T cells, enhancement of antigen presentation by tumours, or some yet unknown method. As such, more preclinical and clinical trials are needed to explore the synergistic effects of chemotherapy combined with immunotherapy, particularly the proper dose and timing of chemotherapy.
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