IMR Press / FBE / Volume 4 / Issue 7 / DOI: 10.2741/E547

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article

The immune system: endogenous anticancer mechanism

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1 Departamento de Biologia Celular e Molecular,FABIO, Instituto de Pesquisas Biomedicas, PUCRS, Av. Ipiranga, 6690 2o andar, 90610-000 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Guido Lenz

Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2012, 4(7), 2354–2364; https://doi.org/10.2741/E547
Published: 1 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endogenous anticancer mechanisms)
Abstract

The genetic alterations acquired by cancer cells are identified by diverse immune mechanisms, creating a complex network of interactions that can either favor or control tumor growth. Defects and impairments in the immune system are associated with cancer development. Compelling new evidences are also available regarding the protective value of anti-tumor adaptive immune responses, both local and systemic, developed by the host. More recently, the identification of new subsets of T helper, T cytotoxic, and dendritic cells, unraveled new forms of interactions between immune and tumor cells. The immune system is a powerful ally in the control of cancer development, metastasis and recurrence, due to two important properties that are absent in most anti-cancer treatments – specificity, and long-lasting memory. These properties are being increasingly explored in cancer therapy, from the wide use of monoclonal antibodies to the still experimental dendritic cell based therapies. Now, more than ever, the preservation as well as the recruitment of immune responses in the host constitute important approaches to be applied in cancer therapy.

Keywords
Cancer
Immune system
Tumor immunoediting
Immunessupression
Review
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