How to improve the immunogenicity of chemotherapy and radiotherapy

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2011 Mar;30(1):71-82. doi: 10.1007/s10555-011-9283-2.


Chemotherapy or radiotherapy could induce various tumor cell death modalities, releasing tumor-derived antigen as well as danger signals that could either be captured for triggering antitumor immune response or ignored. Exploring the interplay among therapeutic drugs, tumor cell death and the immune cells should improve diagnostic, prognostic, predictive, and therapeutic management of tumor. We summarized some of the cell death-derived danger signals and the mechanism for host to sense and response to cell death in the tumor microenvironment. Based on the recent clinical or experimental findings, several strategies have been suggested to improve the immunogenicity of cell death and augment antitumor immunity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Death / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Immune System / drug effects
  • Immunity / drug effects*
  • Immunity / radiation effects*
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Tumor Microenvironment / drug effects
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cancer Vaccines