Recent developments of RNA-based vaccines in cancer immunotherapy.


Faghfuri E(1), Pourfarzi F(1), Faghfouri AH(2), Abdoli Shadbad M(3), Hajiasgharzadeh K(3), Baradaran B(3).
Author information:
(1)Digestive Disease Research Center, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences , Ardabil, Iran.
(2)Student's Research Committee, Department of Nutrition, Tabriz University of Medical Science , Tabriz, Iran.
(3)Immunology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences , Tabriz, Iran.


INTRODUCTION: Cancer immunotherapy is more dependent on monoclonal antibodies, proteins, and cells, as therapeutic agents, to attain prominent outcomes. However, cancer immunotherapy's clinical benefits need to be enhanced, as many patients still do not respond well to existing treatments, or their diseases may relapse after temporary control. RNA-based approaches have provided new options for advancing cancer immunotherapy. Moreover, considerable efforts have been made to utilize RNA for vaccine production. RNA vaccines, which encode tumor-associated or specific epitopes, stimulate adaptive immunity. This adaptive immune response is capable of elimination or reduction of tumor burden. It is crucial to develop effective RNA transfer technologies that penetrate the lipid bilayer to reach the cytoplasm for translation into functional proteins. Two important delivery methods include the loading of mRNA into dendritic cells ex vivo; and direct injection of naked RNA with or without a carrier. AREAS COVERED: The latest results of pre-clinical and clinical studies with RNA vaccines in cancer immunotherapy are summarized in this review. EXPERT OPINION: RNA vaccines are now in early clinical development with promising safety and efficacy outcomes. Also, the translation capacity and durability of these vaccines can be increased with chemical modifications and sequence engineering.