Cancer cell-intrinsic mechanisms driving acquired immune tolerance

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Immune evasion is a hallmark of cancer, enabling tumors to survive contact with the host immune system and evade the cycle of immune recognition and destruction. Here, we review the current understanding of the cancer cell-intrinsic factors driving immune evasion. We focus on T cells as key effectors of anti-cancer immunity and argue that cancer cells evade immune destruction by gaining control over pathways that usually serve to maintain physiological tolerance to self. Using this framework, we place recent mechanistic advances in the understanding of cancer immune evasion into broad categories of control over T cell localization, antigen recognition, and acquisition of optimal effector function. We discuss the redundancy in the pathways involved and identify knowledge gaps that must be overcome to better target immune evasion, including the need for better, routinely available tools that incorporate the growing understanding of evasion mechanisms to stratify patients for therapy and trials.

Journal details

Journal Immunity
Volume 56
Issue number 10
Pages 2270-2295
Available online
Publication date