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J Leukoc Biol. 2008 Oct;84(4):988-93. doi: 10.1189/jlb.1107774. Epub 2008 May 30.

Immune-mediated dormancy: an equilibrium with cancer.

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Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Victoria, Australia.


This brief review discusses the role of the immune system in tumor development, covering a history of cancer immunity and a summary of the concept of cancer immunoediting, including its three phases: elimination, equilibrium, and escape. The latter half of this review then focuses specifically on the equilibrium phase, making note of previous work, suggesting that immunity might maintain cancer in a dormant state, and concluding with a description of a tractable mouse model unequivocally demonstrating that immunity can indeed hold preformed cancer in check. These findings form a framework for future studies aimed at validating immune-mediated cancer dormancy in humans with the hopes of devising new, immunotherapeutic strategies to treat established cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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