Department of Molecular Medicine, The Rayne Institute, Guy’s King’s and St Thomas’ School of Medicine, King’s College, London-UK
The potential ability of the immune system to recognise tumour tissue and to be able to help with the treatment of cancer has been suspected for a very long time. However, it is only in the last few years that the full anti-tumour potential of the immune system is beginning to be appreciated. This is due to a rapid growth in the understanding of the cellular and molecular biology of both cancer and the immune system. Tumour immunology is now poised to offer a number of different strategies for prevention and the induction of immune mediated rejection of tumours. These developments have been the subject of a number of comprehensive and extremely informative recent reviews. The present article aims to highlight particular aspects of the recent developments in tumour immunology and immune therapy that are likely to be of interest to readers of Tanaffos. In particular the case for immune therapy of cancer is examined and a number of different immune therapy strategies that are currently under active investigation are described. For a more thorough analysis of the subject the reader is referred to a number of particularly informative recent reviews, and the references therein, that have been listed at the end of this article.