Send to

Choose Destination
J Immunol. 2018 Jan 15;200(2):385-391. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1701302.

A Believer's Overview of Cancer Immunosurveillance and Immunotherapy.

Author information

Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15232


The field of tumor immunology has grown around the idea that one of the important roles of the immune system is to eliminate cancer. This idea was difficult to reconcile with the accepted notion that the immune system evolved to distinguish self from nonself and therefore tumors derived from self-tissues would not be recognized. Lack of appropriate animal models prevented experimental testing of cancer immunosurveillance. This changed with the realization that the immune system evolved to recognize danger and with the advent of mouse models deficient in one or more immune function, which showed predicted increases in susceptibility to cancer. Simultaneously, technical advances that enabled the study of the human immune system provided data for the existence of tumor-specific T cells and Abs and led to molecular identification of tumor Ags, fully validating the cancer immunosurveillance hypothesis. Immunotherapy designed to strengthen cancer immunosurveillance has achieved unprecedented clinical successes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center