Mechanisms of T-cell inhibition: implications for cancer immunotherapy

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2010 Jan;9(1):89-105. doi: 10.1586/erv.09.144.


Cancer vaccines designed to augment effector T-cell responses have been disappointing with respect to clinical efficacy. This lack of effectiveness may be due to the fact that regulatory mechanisms, both intrinsic and extrinsic to activated T cells, play important roles in inhibiting vaccine-induced effector T-cell responses. This concept raises the possibility that blockade of these regulatory checkpoints might enhance anti-tumor immune responses. In this review, we discuss several regulatory mechanisms that act to control effector T-cell responses and identify strategies to circumvent these mechanisms in order to improve clinical responses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Cancer Vaccines