Cancer, immunology, oncology, microbiology, immunotherapy, T-cell, immunosuppression, research, immuno-oncology, immune system, treatment, PD-1, PD-L1, CTLA-4, MDSC, myeloid, tumor, metastasis, microenvironment, epithelialŒmesenchymal transition, checkpoint blockade, cytotoxic, CD8+, monoclonal antibody, malignancy, cytokines, clinical trial


Life Sciences | Microbiology


Dr. Kristin Renkema


The concept of tumor immune evasion is a prevalent obstacle in cancer research and the development of immunotherapies. Increased insight into mechanisms that are responsible for the escape of cancer cells from the immune system will help to improve therapeutic approaches and provide understanding into slowing disease progression by utilizing the body's immune system. With immunotherapy development on the forefront of cancer research due to seemingly attenuated toxicity and resistance when compared to traditional chemoradiotherapy, analyzing these obstacles is essential for emerging roles and future directions in the discipline of immuno-oncology. Understanding the immunosuppressive molecules that contribute to the process of tumor-induced immune evasion, as well as the immunomodulatory molecules that may help bypass these barriers in cancer treatment, will help to provide insight into new therapeutic development and increase efficacy of existing treatments. A subtype of T-lymphocyte, CD8+ cytotoxic T cells, are key players in viral infections and in the tumor microenvironment, so when their effector functions are limited or inhibited, the body becomes less capable of fighting the cancer and more susceptible to disease progression and metastasis. Insight into how these mechanisms impact the activity within the tumor microenvironment is pertinent in the ongoing battle to develop novel, efficacious cancer treatments. In this review, a few key pathways that contribute to immune evasion and suppression of these CD8+ T cells will be discussed, as well as immunotherapies that are focused on combating the obstacles that these mechanisms introduce.

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