A Darwinian perspective on tumor immune evasion

Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer. 2022 Jan;1877(1):188671. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2021.188671. Epub 2021 Dec 18.


Evading immune-mediated destruction is a critical step of tumor evolution and the immune system is one of the strongest selective pressures during tumorigenesis. Analyzing tumor immune evasion from a Darwinian perspective may provide critical insight into the mechanisms of primary immune escape and acquired resistance to immunotherapy. Here, we review the steps required to mount an anti-tumor immune response, describe how each of these steps is disrupted during tumorigenesis, list therapeutic strategies to restore anti-tumor immunity, and discuss each mechanism of immune and therapeutic evasion from a Darwinian perspective.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Immune evasion; Tumor evolution.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogenesis
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Tumor Escape*
  • Tumor Microenvironment