Therapeutic cancer vaccines offer the promise of stimulating the immune system to specifically eradicate tumor cells and establish long-term memory to prevent tumor recurrence. However, despite showing benign safety profiles and the ability to generate Ag-specific cellular responses, cancer vaccines have been hampered by modest clinical efficacy. Lessons learned from these studies have led to the emergence of innovative materials-based strategies that aim to boost the clinical activity of cancer vaccines. In this Brief Review, we provide an overview of the key elements needed for an effective vaccine-induced antitumor response, categorize current approaches to therapeutic cancer vaccination, and explore recent advances in materials-based strategies to potentiate cancer vaccines.

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