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The clinical implications of antitumor immunity in head and neck cancer§

Authors

  • Clint T. Allen MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
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  • Nancy P. Judd MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
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  • Jack D. Bui MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Pathology, University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego, California, U.S.A
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  • Ravindra Uppaluri MD, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
    • Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology, Box 8115, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110
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  • The authors have no financial disclosures for this article.

  • The authors have no conflicts of interests to declare.

  • §

    Editor's Note: This Manuscript was accepted for publication May 5, 2011.

Abstract

Recent developments have renewed interest in understanding the interaction between transformed cells and the immune system in the tumor microenvironment. Here, we provide a comprehensive review addressing the basics of tumor immunology in relation to head and neck cancer and the cellular components potentially involved in antitumor immune responses. In addition, we describe the mechanisms by which head and neck cancer cells escape immune-mediated killing and progress to form clinically significant disease. Further, we detail what effects standard anticancer therapies may have on antitumor immune responses and how these responses may be altered by current and investigational immunotherapies. Finally, we discuss future directions that need to be considered in the development of new immunotherapeutics designed to durably alter the immune response in favor of the host.Laryngoscope, 122:144–157, 2012

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