Despite continued research efforts, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains the deadliest brain tumor. Immunotherapy offers a novel way to treat this disease, the genetic signature of which is not completely elucidated. Additionally, these tumors are known to induce immunosuppression in the surrounding tumor microenvironment via an array of mechanisms, making effective treatment all the more difficult. The immunotherapeutic strategy of using tumor vaccines offers a way to harness the activity of the host immune system to potentially control tumor progression. GBM vaccines can react to a variety of tumor-specific antigens, which can be harvested from the patient’s unique pathological condition using selected immunotherapy techniques. This article reviews the rationale behind and development of GBM vaccines, the relevant clinical trials, and the challenges involved in this treatment strategy.
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