Innate Immune System Helping Possible Anti Cancer Vaccines Biology Essay


Innate immune system is the first line of defence, which helps to protect against many infectious pathogens and viruses with different mechanisms. Vaccination is the another defence-line which helps in reducing the infectivity. To produce a successful anti-cancer vaccine one needs to have an indulgent knowledge about immune system and its ability to react with body cells. It is a challenge to develop the anti-cancer vaccines as the cancer cells on one hand do not stay stable and on the other continue to evolve or modify itself. A successful anti-cancer vaccine can only be booming when it is able to differentiate between the body's own cells and infectious cells.

The various studies by researchers to produce anti-cancer vaccines are noted to be recent but in previous years there have been many research studies done to develop an anti-cancer vaccines but without much success [5]. Now-a-days immunotherapy for the annihilation of cancer, cells is being under study. The same is carried out by studying the innate and adaptive immune system[5]. If one considers specifically about the innate immunity then it would not be difficult but quite challenging as to how its knowledge can give illumination to produce anti-cancer vaccine. Recently the studies of dendritic cells by Lesterhuis. W. J. et al. question whether its use as vaccines for cancer can be a "promise to proof". As dendritic cells (DC) are the most potent cells in activating the T cells, they can also be counted as the dominant in activating the "antigen-specific immunity" [4]. When the cancer reaches a certain size spreading in the body the DC are activated and starts to act as guards. As the growth of the cancer cells is a slow process the immune system, miss-out the triggering signal when the cancer starts to develop in the body. Therefore, if the anti-cancer DC vaccine were to be produced the then the aim of that would be to trigger the immune system at the start of the developing tumor [2].

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According to Lesterhuis. W. J. et al. the cytokine mature DC are able to arouse the initiation of T-cells but are unable to extend them into "interleukin gamma producing effector cells". However, the DC that were triggered by the Toll-like receptors producing the antigen specific T-cells in the chimeric murine model [4]. As dendritic cells are known to have the ability to recognize the pathogens with the help from toll-like receptors. When designing the vaccine in the clinical trials the monocytes-derived dendritic cells are in major use due to their simplicity in producing the large amount of DC [2]. When designing the possible anti-cancer vaccine by DC it should be taken into account that how much the advanced stage is the disease in the patients because when vaccine are used it needs sufficient time to activate the immune system.

Most of the studies show activation of T-cells by DC that helps in eliminating the tumor but in recent years, it has been observed that the DC also provokes the Natural Killer cells and Natural Killer T cells that have same criterion against tumor [4]. The interleukin gamma and CD-40 ligand are generated by the NK T cells along with DC. The process of generating the NK T cells and DC is magnificent as DC are produced by NK T cells with the help of CD-40.Viseversa the NK T cells are produced by DC with the help of interleukin gamma [2].

Endo/exogenous glyocolipid antigen

DC NK+NK T cells inducing IFN-gamma + CD40 ligand


NK T cells DC IL-12 NK T cells [4]

Therefore, it can be predicted that producing the glycolipid antigen by DC and NK T cells can prove to be a challenging concept for producing the anti-cancer vaccines in future [4]. According to Pulendran et al. (2006) injection of alpha-GalCer in mice (advance cancer) showed the activation of NK T cells and the glycolipid showed the activation of NK cells, DC, cytokines and T cells. The mature DC increases in amount when the alpha-GalCer is introduce in mice. It also shows the increase of NK T cells in advance cancer state. The NK T cells acts as a bridge between the innate immunity and adaptive immunity, as it helps the producing the large amount of memory T cells in response to the vaccine injected [1].

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As the knowledge of DC can allow us to produce anti-cancer vaccines, the Toll-Like receptors (TLR) also play a vital role in designing the tumor vaccines as it helps to signal the pathway to initiate the cytokinase and other stimulating molecules in the body [5]. The stimulation of cytokinase leads to the production of Nature Killer cells and Tumor reactive T cells that on other hand improve the reactions of anti-cancer in host. To design the anti-cancer vaccines the Toll-Like receptors should have certain criteria to become a successful vaccine for cancer, which involves the enhancing of the innate immune cells such as monocytes, NK cells and initiating cytokine responses. They also should be capable to increase the production of CD4TH2 and CD8CTL (T cell immunity), which helps in killing the cancer cells. Enhancement of anti-CD20 by the TLR9 can also be helpful in killing the cancer cells [3]. Hence, it can be confronted that knowledge of TLR can draw a new way in designing the anti-cancer vaccines. For example, as per a study by Kanzler et al. apoptosis in-vitro using TLR9 and TLR3 was shown in the lymphocytic leukemia cells and breast carcinoma cells respectively. Where, the patients showed 20yrs of survival and the cancer cells expressed in the patients showed the presence of TLR3 and TLR9. [3]

Therefore, to produce a successful anti-cancer vaccine the proper knowledge of innate and adaptive immunity is necessary. The anti-cancer vaccine should be realistic and should have potential to stimulate the immune cells [5]. The knowledge will help in more advancing and understanding of the properties and responses of the immune cells. Moreover, the major objective of the innate immune system when designing anti-cancer vaccine is that it should be able to eliminate the cancer cells in the body and create a long-term memory response that will help in eliminating the cancer cells in the body.