Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Studies with at least 3 patients were eligible for inclusion. The number of patients recruited ranged from 3 to 77; no further study details were reported.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies of active specific immunotherapy were eligible for inclusion. The vaccines evaluated in the included studies were based on dendritic cells and peptide, peptide only, virus encoding antigens, idiotypic antibody mimicking antigens, autologous tumour and other substances. The vaccines were administered intraveneously, intramuscularly, intraduodenally, subcutaneously, intracavernously or intralymphatically. A range of adjuvants were added to the immunotherapy.
Participants included in the review
Studies of patients with CRC with a measurable disease burden (advanced or metastatic), where the patients disease has been classified and there was no concurrent chemotherapy, were eligible for inclusion. No further details of the population were provided.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies reporting an immune response directed against cancer or cancer antigens were eligible for inclusion. The outcomes were clinical response (complete, partial, mixed or minor, and stable disease), immunological response (humoral and cellular) and toxicity.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the studies were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.