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Immunotherapy. 2011 Nov;3(11):1385-408. doi: 10.2217/imt.11.112.

Targeting the tumor microenvironment by immunotherapy: part 2.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, 69978 Tel-Aviv, Israel.


Cancer therapy was traditionally centered on the neoplastic cells. This included mainly surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, in some cases hormone therapy and to a lesser extent immunotherapy--all traditionally targeted to the highly proliferating mutated tumor cells. In view of our present understanding of the powerfull influence of the tumor microenvironment (TME) on cancer behavior and response--and lack of response--to treatment, this previously ignored constituent of cancer now has to be considered as an important, even indispensable target for therapy. The TME may be targeted both to its immune and to its nonimmune components. The various immune evasion elements of the TME should be targeted as well.

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