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Curr Opin Immunol. 2007 Apr;19(2):203-8. Epub 2007 Feb 9.

Cancer immunosurveillance, immunoediting and inflammation: independent or interdependent processes?

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Department of Pathology, University of California at San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive MC 0612, La Jolla, CA 92093-0612, USA.


When immune cells and developing tumor cells localize to a common microenvironment, an assemblage of interactions takes place; this results in either tumor destruction by way of immunosurveillance or tumor outgrowth. These events put a functional imprint onto the emerging tumor repertoire because tumor cells arising in the presence of a fully functional immune system are less immunogenic than those that develop in the absence of immunity (i.e. in RAG2(-/-) and perforin(-/-) mice). However, other studies suggest that the immune system can also actively promote formation of certain tumors. These apparent disparate effects of immunity on tumorigenesis provide a unique model for study of the decision-making process that dictates immune function within a tumor.

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