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Aging Dis. 2011 Dec;2(6):512-23. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

Immunity, cancer and aging: lessons from mouse models.

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  • 1Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, USA.


The deterioration of immune function with advancing age is associated with an increased incidence of cancer. Most of the studies to evaluate the effect of immunotherapy on cancer have been conducted in the young without considering the effect of age-associated changes in immune function. Studies from my laboratory and others groups indicate that immunotherapeutic interventions could be effective in young animals, but that the same therapies are not as effective in old animals. The present review summarizes some defects found in the old immune system affecting the activation of antitumor immune responses, the strategies used to activate a more robust antitumor immune response in the old and the description of a preclinical tumor model indicating possible strategies for optimization of immunotherapeutic interventions in the old.


Aging; Cancer; Immunity; Immunotherapy; Intervention

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