Therapeutic vaccination targeting self-molecules could provide a cost-efficient alternative to monoclonal antibody-based therapies for cancer and various inflammatory diseases. However, development of cancer vaccines targeting self-molecules has proven difficult. One complicating factor is that tumour cells have developed strategies to escape recognition by the immune system. Antigens specifically expressed by the tumour vasculature can therefore provide alternative targets. The present mini-review highlights potential target molecules associated with tumour angiogenesis and the approaches made to direct an immune response against them. Furthermore, the requirements on a vaccine targeting self-molecules, in contrast with those directed against virus or bacteria, are discussed.

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