Bendandi M. Idiotype vaccines for lymphoma: proof-of-principles and clinical trial failures. Nat Rev Cancer 2009 Sep;9(9):675-681.
The clonal immunoglobulin idiotype displayed on the surface of most malignant B cells is a patient- and tumour-specific antigen that can be used for therapeutic vaccination. Several studies have confirmed the biological efficacy of soluble protein idiotypic vaccination and two clinical trials have shown the clinical efficacy of this procedure. One study has demonstrated clinical benefit associated with idiotypic vaccination. However, three randomized clinical trials have recently failed to achieve their main end points for reasons that are probably unrelated to the vaccine. While scepticism towards this type of non-toxic medical intervention is mounting, such patient-specific treatments might yet see the light of day through better designed clinical trials.