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WCCS/EADO 2016 | The re-emergence of cancer vaccines

Gerold Schuler, MD of University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany explains how attitudes have changed towards the use of cancer vaccines in melanoma. Whilst attending the 2016 World Congress on Cancers of the Skin (WCCS) and the Congress of the European Association of Dermato-Oncology (EADO) in Vienna, Austria, Prof. Shuler comments on how cancer vaccines were overshadowed in recent years by the success of immune checkpoint blockade therapies. However recently it has become a clinical reality that though some tumor types may be responsive to checkpoint blockade, not all patients will respond. In addition, some tumor types will not respond to checkpoint blockade at all. Prof. Schuler hopes that more funding will be put towards cancer vaccines in the future and is pleasantly surprised by the increased reference of cancer vaccines at the WCCS/EADO 2016. It is clear that there is never just one solution to cancer and that several solutions may be required to treat cancer, such as cancer vaccines and checkpoint blockade therapies. A major lesson learned in the cancer field is that combination is the key to success.