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Cancers 2011, 3(3), 2904-2954; doi:10.3390/cancers3032904

Immune Suppression in Tumors as a Surmountable Obstacle to Clinical Efficacy of Cancer Vaccines

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Université catholique de Louvain, de Duve Institute, 74 av. Hippocrate, P.O. Box B1-7403, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 May 2011 / Revised: 1 July 2011 / Accepted: 7 July 2011 / Published: 18 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [357 KB, 20 July 2011; original version 18 July 2011]


Human tumors are usually not spontaneously eliminated by the immune system and therapeutic vaccination of cancer patients with defined antigens is followed by tumor regressions only in a small minority of the patients. The poor vaccination effectiveness could be explained by an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. Because T cells that infiltrate tumor metastases have an impaired ability to lyse target cells or to secrete cytokine, many researchers are trying to decipher the underlying immunosuppressive mechanisms. We will review these here, in particular those considered as potential therapeutic targets. A special attention will be given to galectins, a family of carbohydrate binding proteins. These lectins have often been implicated in inflammation and cancer and may be useful targets for the development of new anti-cancer therapies.
Keywords: anergy; immunosuppression; cancer vaccines; galectin; tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes anergy; immunosuppression; cancer vaccines; galectin; tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Wieërs, G.; Demotte, N.; Godelaine, D.; Van der Bruggen, P. Immune Suppression in Tumors as a Surmountable Obstacle to Clinical Efficacy of Cancer Vaccines. Cancers 2011, 3, 2904-2954.

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