Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
The idiotypic determinants expressed by immunoglobulin at the surface of malignant B-cells provide specific targets for vaccination strategies. However, as self-antigens they are poorly immunogenic and vaccines must include carriers to improve immune responses. Chemical cross-linking of purified idiotypic protein is so far the only method which has been employed in clinical trials while a number of second-generation vaccines have been developed in mouse models. These strategies are based on the use of recombinant DNA technology to create fusion proteins that contain the idiotype genetically linked to molecules that act as immunological adjuvants. Fusion proteins can be made available to the immune system by direct delivery of naked DNA with great advantages in terms of time and costs. The most relevant approaches are listed and discussed with particular emphasis to the mechanism by which different molecules exert their adjuvant effect. The role of cellular versus antibody mediated suppression of tumor growth following Id vaccination is examined by comparing the most recent data on the mechanism of tumor protection. In addition, an analysis of the specificity of anti-idiotypic antibodies induced by scFv-DNA vaccination as compared to protein immunization is provided.