UNIT 20.11 The Immune Response to Tumors

  1. Michael Dougan,
  2. Glenn Dranoff

Published Online: 1 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im2011s85

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Dougan, M. and Dranoff, G. 2009. The Immune Response to Tumors. Current Protocols in Immunology. 85:20.11:20.11.1–20.11.4.

Author Information

  1. Department of Medical Oncology and Cancer Vaccine Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: APR 2009


The immune response to tumors is complex. Cells of the immune system can inhibit tumor growth and progression through the recognition and rejection of malignant cells, a process referred to as immunoediting. Yet, immune responses can also promote tumor cell growth, survival, and angiogenesis through the induction of oncogenic inflammation. Immunodeficiency can predispose to the development of spontaneous and virally induced cancer, and established tumors often generate immunosuppressive microenvironments that can block productive antitumor immunity, serving as a substantial barrier to effective immune therapy. Through a deeper understanding of the complicated relationship between tumors and the immune system, tumor immunology strives to harness the immune system to generate protective antitumor responses in patients. Curr. Protoc. Immunol. 85:20.11.1-20.11.4. © 2009 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • cancer;
  • immunoediting;
  • immunotherapy;
  • immunosuppression;
  • inflammation;
  • antitumor immunity