Prospects, promise and problems on the road to effective vaccines and related therapies for substance abuse

Stephen Brimijoin, Xiaoyun Shen, Frank Orson, Thomas Kosten

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

24 Scopus citations


This review addresses potential new treatments for stimulant drugs of abuse, especially cocaine. Clinical trials of vaccines against cocaine and nicotine have been completed with the generally encouraging result that subjects showing high titers of antidrug antibody experience a reduction in drug reward, which may aid in cessation. New vaccine technologies, including gene transfer of highly optimized monoclonal antibodies, are likely to improve such outcomes further. In the special case of cocaine abuse, a metabolic enzyme is emerging as an alternative or added therapeutic intervention, which would also involve gene transfer. Such approaches still require extensive studies of safety and efficacy, but they may eventually contribute to a robust form of in vivo drug interception that greatly reduces the risks of addiction relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-332
Number of pages10
JournalExpert review of vaccines
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013



  • adenovirus gene transfer vector
  • antidrug immunoglobulin
  • butyrylcholinesterase
  • clinical trial
  • cocaine abuse
  • cocaine hydrolase
  • metabolism-based therapies
  • monoclonal antibody
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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