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Annu Rev Med. 2013;64:71-90. doi: 10.1146/annurev-med-112311-083918. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

Harnessing the power of the immune system to target cancer.

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Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, The Center for Cancer Immunology Research, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


For many years, immunotherapeutic approaches for cancer held more promise than actual clinical benefit for the majority of patients. However, several recent key advances in tumor immunology have now turned the tide in favor of immunotherapy for the treatment of many different cancer types. In this review, we describe four of the most effective immunotherapeutic approaches currently used in the clinic: cancer vaccines, immunostimulatory agents, adoptive T cell therapy, and immune checkpoint blockade. In addition, we discuss some of the most promising future strategies that aim to utilize multiple immunotherapies or combine them with other approaches to more effectively target cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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