Camouflage and sabotage: tumor escape from the immune system

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2011 Aug;60(8):1161-71. doi: 10.1007/s00262-011-1012-8. Epub 2011 Apr 6.


The field of tumor immunology has made great progress in understanding tumor immune interactions. As a consequence a number of immuno-therapeutic approaches have been successfully introduced into the clinic and a large number of promising therapeutic strategies are investigated in ongoing clinical trials. Evaluation of anti-tumor immunity in such trials as well as in animal models has shown that tumor escape from immune recognition and tumor-mediated suppression of anti-tumor immunity can pose a significant obstacle to successful cancer therapy. Here, we review mechanisms of tumor immune escape and immune-subversion with a focus on the research interests in our laboratory: loss of MHC class I on tumor cells, increased oxidative stress, recruitment of myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and regulatory T cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immune System*
  • Immunosuppression
  • Immunotherapy* / trends
  • Myeloid Cells / immunology
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • Tumor Escape*


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I