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Annu Rev Immunol. 2009;27:83-117. doi: 10.1146/annurev.immunol.021908.132544.

Immune therapy for cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Oncology and Cancer Vaccine Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

Over the past decade, immune therapy has become a standard treatment for a variety of cancers. Monoclonal antibodies, immune adjuvants, and vaccines against oncogenic viruses are now well-established cancer therapies. Immune modulation is a principal element of supportive care for many high-dose chemotherapy regimens. In addition, immune activation is now appreciated as central to the therapeutic mechanism of bone marrow transplantation for hematologic malignancies. Advances in our understanding of the molecular interactions between tumors and the immune system have led to many novel investigational therapies and continue to inform efforts for devising more potent therapeutics. Novel approaches to immune-based cancer treatment strive to augment antitumor immune responses by expanding tumor-reactive T cells, providing exogenous immune-activating stimuli, and antagonizing regulatory pathways that induce immune tolerance. The future of immune therapy for cancer is likely to combine many of these approaches to generate more effective treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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