Prehn, R. On the nature of cancer and why anticancer vaccines don't work
Prehn, Richmond T.
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In this essay I suggest that the major difficulty in producing effective anti-cancer vaccines lies in the fact that most cancers have little immunogenicity because of a basic paucity of tumor-specific antigenicity. The lack of antigenicity, despite extensive genomic instability, could be explained if most tumor mutations occur in silenced genes. A further problem is that an immune reaction against tumor antigens, especially in moderate or low amount, may be stimulatory rather than inhibitory to tumor growth.