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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2007 Jan;56(1):81-7. Epub 2005 Dec 16.

Tumor escape mechanisms in prostate cancer.

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  • 1Immune and Gene Therapy Laboratory, Cancer Centre Karolinska, Karolinska Institute, 171 76, Stockholm, Sweden.


Numerous immunotherapy trials have been carried out in prostate cancer (PC) patients, with induction of antigen-specific T cells in some cases. Despite this capability, limited success is seen in terms of tumor regression or survival. In this review, we discuss the evidence for tumor escape strategies that may contribute to vaccine failure in the setting of PC. These include defects in antigen presentation, production of immunosuppressive substances, induction of T cell death, T cell receptor dysfunction, and the presence of tolerogenic dendritic cells and regulatory T cells inside prostate tumors. It is clear that novel strategies aimed at preventing tumor escape, such as small molecular weight inhibitors of immunosuppressive molecules, adoptive transfer of TCR transgenic T cells, removal of Tregs, combined with anti-androgen therapy and prostate-specific vaccines, need to be examined further in PC patients.

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