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Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2008 Apr;8(4):561-72. doi: 10.1586/14737140.8.4.561.

Immune cells in colorectal cancer: prognostic relevance and therapeutic strategies.

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Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany.


During the last two decades, considerable efforts have been made to improve the prevention, early diagnosis and therapy of colorectal cancer by gaining enhanced insights into disease-specific pathogenesis. Along these lines, tumor-infiltrating immune cells turned out to be critical indicators for an efficient antitumor immune response and the number and type of tumor-infiltrating immune cells determined the resulting tumor prognosis. This review aims to describe the prognostic relevance of the different subsets of tumor-infiltrating immune cells and highlights their specific function in the complex process of immune system-mediated rejection of colorectal cancer cells. Considering the clinical impact of this increased insight into tumor-associated immunology, resulting innovative approaches in the treatment of colorectal cancer are summarized and discussed immunotherapeutic critically.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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