Tumor evasion from T cell surveillance

J Biomed Biotechnol. 2011;2011:918471. doi: 10.1155/2011/918471. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Abstract

An intact immune system is essential to prevent the development and progression of neoplastic cells in a process termed immune surveillance. During this process the innate and the adaptive immune systems closely cooperate and especially T cells play an important role to detect and eliminate tumor cells. Due to the mechanism of central tolerance the frequency of T cells displaying appropriate arranged tumor-peptide-specific-T-cell receptors is very low and their activation by professional antigen-presenting cells, such as dendritic cells, is frequently hampered by insufficient costimulation resulting in peripheral tolerance. In addition, inhibitory immune circuits can impair an efficient antitumoral response of reactive T cells. It also has been demonstrated that large tumor burden can promote a state of immunosuppression that in turn can facilitate neoplastic progression. Moreover, tumor cells, which mostly are genetically instable, can gain rescue mechanisms which further impair immune surveillance by T cells. Herein, we summarize the data on how tumor cells evade T-cell immune surveillance with the focus on solid tumors and describe approaches to improve anticancer capacity of T cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunologic Surveillance*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / immunology
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Tumor Escape*

Substances

  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell