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Immunology of Cancer

Biomolecular Interactions

  1. Peter R. Holman,
  2. Edward D. Ball

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200400074

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Holman, P. R. and Ball, E. D. 2006. Immunology of Cancer. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (27 JUL 2015)


Cancer or tumor immunology refers to the field of study that seeks to define the role of the immune system in controlling and regulating the growth and survival of malignant cells. From animal studies, it has been known for decades that tumor cells can be recognized and eliminated by the immune system. The basis of immune recognition is the expression of tumor-associated or tumor-specific molecules by tumor cells in a manner that is recognizable to the various components of the immune system. Much has been learned about the antigens, antigen-presenting cells, and effector cells of the immune system over the past several years. This is still a discipline in its infancy, which is yet to fulfill the dream of effective control of human tumors by natural immunological processes. This chapter will review the current state of the science and the prospects of meaningful application of the immune system to human disease.


  • Antigen-presenting Cells (APC);
  • B-cell Receptor (BCR);
  • Cluster Determinant (CD);
  • Cytotoxic T Cells (CTL);
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC);
  • Monoclonal Antibodies (mAb);
  • Natural Killer (NK) Cells;
  • T-cell Receptor (TCR);
  • Tumor-associated Antigens (TAA)