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Significant advances have been made in the field of cancer immunology and immunotherapy over the last three decades. An important step forward was the identification of human cancer antigens eliciting spontaneous immune responses in cancer patients. The most immunogenic human cancer antigens known to date belong to the cancer-testis family of antigens, which are proteins expressed in various types of cancer but not in any healthy tissues except germ cells. The aim of cancer immunotherapy is to induce or boost the existing tumor-specific immune response by vaccinating with a relevant antigen together with an adjuvant. Immunization together with an adjuvant will induce a strong and effective immune response or can qualitatively and quantitatively improve existing responses. As selective outgrowth of antigen-loss variants due to immunoediting in vivo may occur during vaccination of cancer patients, singular metastatic failure sites of disease should be surgically removed and tested for antigen expression as antigen-negative (or loss) variants may have survived the pressure of the immune system. At this rather early stage of development, cancer immunotherapy should be offered to cancer patients only within carefully monitored clinical trials of experienced clinical research teams. In addition, it may be rewarding to include patients with early-stage disease in immunotherapy trials, as immunoediting of the tumor and immune escape may be less pronounced. Copyright 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.
|Item Type:||Journal Article, refereed, original work|
|Communities & Collections:||04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Oncology|
|DDC:||610 Medicine & health|
|Deposited On:||07 Jul 2010 00:37|
|Last Modified:||27 Nov 2013 23:09|
|Citations:||Web of Science®. Times cited: 4|
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