Cancer immunoediting: antigens, mechanisms, and implications to cancer immunotherapy

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013 May;1284(1):1-5. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12105.


Accumulated data from animal models and human cancer patients strongly support the concept that the immune system can identify and control nascent tumor cells in a process called cancer immunosurveillance. In addition, the immune system can also promote tumor progression through chronic inflammation, immunoselection of poorly immunogenic variants, and suppressing antitumor immunity. Together, the dual host-protective and tumor-promoting actions of immunity are referred to as cancer immunoediting. The current framework of cancer immunoediting is a dynamic process comprised of three distinct phases: elimination, equilibrium, and escape. Recently, we demonstrated that immunoselection by CD8(+) T cells of tumor variants lacking strong tumor-specific antigens represents one mechanism by which cancer cells escape tumor immunity and points toward the future of personalized cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Surveillance / immunology
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Spectrin / genetics


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • DNA, Complementary
  • SPTBN1 protein, human
  • Spectrin