Cancer systems immunology

Elife. 2020 Jul 13;9:e53839. doi: 10.7554/eLife.53839.


Tumor immunology is undergoing a renaissance due to the recent profound clinical successes of tumor immunotherapy. These advances have coincided with an exponential growth in the development of -omics technologies. Armed with these technologies and their associated computational and modeling toolsets, systems biologists have turned their attention to tumor immunology in an effort to understand the precise nature and consequences of interactions between tumors and the immune system. Such interactions are inherently multivariate, spanning multiple time and size scales, cell types, and organ systems, rendering systems biology approaches particularly amenable to their interrogation. While in its infancy, the field of 'Cancer Systems Immunology' has already influenced our understanding of tumor immunology and immunotherapy. As the field matures, studies will move beyond descriptive characterizations toward functional investigations of the emergent behavior that govern tumor-immune responses. Thus, Cancer Systems Immunology holds incredible promise to advance our ability to fight this disease.

Keywords: cancer biology; cancer systems biology; immunology; inflammation; systems biology; systems immunology; tumor immunology; tumor immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Immune System / physiology*
  • Immunity*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Systems Biology*