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Immunol Rev. 2002 Oct;188:122-35.

Multiple pathways to tumor immunity and concomitant autoimmunity.

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1Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University, New York, USA.


The immune repertoire contains T cells and B cells that can recognize autologous cancer cells. This repertoire is directed against self, and in some cases altered self (mutations). Priming immune responses against self antigens can be difficult. Strategies are presented using altered self to elicit immunity against self in poorly immunogenic tumor models. Mechanisms underlying immunity to self antigens on cancer cells show that the immune system can use diverse strategies for cancer immunity, in both the immunization and the effector phases. CD4+ T cells are typically, but not always, required for immunization. The effector phase of tumor immunity can involve cytotoxic T cells, macrophages with activating Fc receptors, and/or killer domain molecules. This diversity in the effector phase is observed even when immunizing with conserved paralogs. A consequence of tumor immunity is potentially autoimmunity, which may be undesirable. Autoimmunity uses similar mechanisms as tumor immunity, but tumor immunity and autoimmunity can uncouple. These studies open up strategies for active immunization against cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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