Harnessing host immune responses to preneoplasia: promise and challenges

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2005 May;54(5):409-13. doi: 10.1007/s00262-004-0607-8. Epub 2004 Dec 16.


Preneoplastic lesions are more common than clinical cancer and define a population at increased risk for the development of malignancy. Recent studies suggest that the immune system has the capacity to recognize these lesions, and enrichment of preneoplasia-specific immune effectors can be detected in the tumor bed of some preneoplastic lesions such as monoclonal gammopathies. Here, I discuss the promise and challenges of harnessing the immune response against preneoplasia. Approaches to boost the natural host response to these lesions may have a major impact on reducing net cancer burden.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Humans
  • Immune System / immunology
  • Immunologic Surveillance
  • Models, Animal
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Precancerous Conditions / immunology*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm