Synthetic carbohydrate-based anticancer vaccines: The Memorial Sloan-Kettering experience
Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate
Malignantly transformed cells can express aberrant cell surface glycosylation patterns, which serve to distinguish them from normal cells. This phenotype provides an opportunity for the development of carbohydrate-based vaccines for cancer immunotherapy. Synthetic carbohydrate-based vaccines, properly introduced through vaccination of a subject with a suitable construct, should be recognized by the immune system. Antibodies induced against these carbohydrate antigens could then participate in the eradication of carbohydrate-displaying tumor cells. Advances in carbohydrate synthetic capabilities have allowed us to efficiently prepare a range of complex, synthetic anticancer vaccine candidates. We describe herein the progression of our longstanding carbohydrate-based anticancer vaccine program, which is now at the threshold of clinical evaluation in several contexts. Our carbohydrate-based anticancer vaccine program has evolved through a number of stages: monomeric vaccines, monomeric clustered vaccines, unimolecular multi-antigenic vaccines and dual-acting vaccines. This account will focus on our recently developed unimolecular multi-antigenic constructs and potential dual-acting constructs, which contain clusters of both carbohydrate and peptide epitopes.