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Trends in Cancer Immunotherapy

By Joseph F. Murphy


Abstract: Modulation of the immune system for therapeutic ends has a long history, stretching back to Edward Jenner’s use of cowpox to induce immunity to smallpox in 1796. Since then, immunotherapy, in the form of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines, has enabled doctors to treat and prevent a variety of infectious diseases, including cholera, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, measles and mumps. Immunotherapy is now increasingly being applied to oncology. Cancer immunotherapy attempts to harness the power and specificity of the immune system for the treatment of malignancy. Although cancer cells are less immunogenic than pathogens, the immune system is capable of recognizing and eliminating tumor cells. However, tumors frequently interfere with the development and function of immune responses. Thus, the challenge for cancer immunotherapy is to apply advances in cellular and molecular immunology and develop strategies that effectively and safely augment antitumor responses

Topics: Cancer, immunotherapy, vaccines, antibodies, peptides, cytokines, clinical trials Clinical Medicine Insights, Oncology 2010, 4 67–80
Year: 2013
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