Vaccination with T cell-defined antigens.
Tumour immunology encompasses a broad array of biological phenomena including interactions between neoplastic cells and the innate and adaptive immune response. Among immune cells, T cells have taken the centre stage because they can be easily demonstrated to specifically recognise autologous cancer cells. As most tumour-associated antigens are intracellular proteins, T cells appear to be the most suitable tool for cancer-specific attack, as antibodies do not cross the cell membrane and the innate immune response lacks the same level of specificity. Finally, the relative ease in which T cells can be educated through antigen-specific immunisation to recognise cancer cells has elevated them to an even higher stature. In this review, it will be argued that T cells represent a unique anticancer agent, characterised by absolute specificity. Although other therapeutic modalities (antibody-based) have been effectively implemented, a comparison of T cell-based approaches with other modalities goes beyond the purposes of this review and will not be included in the discussion. However, it is obvious that the role of the T cell is limited and other components of the immune response (effector mononuclear phagocytes, natural killer cells, cytokines, chemokines, soluble factors), genetic background and tumour heterogeneity are likely to be necessary for the completion of cancer rejection.
Panelli, MC; Wang, E; Monsurrò, V; Jin, P; Zavaglia, K; Smith, K; Ngalame, Y; Marincola, FM
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