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Vaccines 2016, 4(3), 29; doi:10.3390/vaccines4030029

Monitoring of the Immune Dysfunction in Cancer Patients

Department of Medical Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center, 2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Theresa L. Whiteside
Received: 7 July 2016 / Revised: 25 August 2016 / Accepted: 27 August 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Tumor Escape from Host Immunity)
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Abstract

Immunotherapy shows promising clinical results in patients with different types of cancer, but its full potential is not reached due to immune dysfunction as a result of several suppressive mechanisms that play a role in cancer development and progression. Monitoring of immune dysfunction is a prerequisite for the development of strategies aiming to alleviate cancer-induced immune suppression. At this point, the level at which immune dysfunction occurs has to be established, the underlying mechanism(s) need to be known, as well as the techniques to assess this. While it is relatively easy to measure general signs of immune suppression, it turns out that accurate monitoring of the frequency and function of immune-suppressive cells is still difficult. A lack of truly specific markers, the phenotypic complexity among suppressive cells of the same lineage, but potentially with different functions and functional assays that may not cover every mechanistic aspect of immune suppression are among the reasons complicating proper assessments. Technical innovations in flow and mass cytometry will allow for more complete sets of markers to precisely determine phenotype and associated function. There is, however, a clear need for functional assays that recapitulate more of the mechanisms employed to suppress the immune system. View Full-Text
Keywords: anti-tumor response; immune dysfunction; immunomonitoring; immunosuppression; phenotyping; functional assays; regulatory T cells; myeloid-derived suppressor cells; tumor-associated macrophages; tumor-associated neutrophils anti-tumor response; immune dysfunction; immunomonitoring; immunosuppression; phenotyping; functional assays; regulatory T cells; myeloid-derived suppressor cells; tumor-associated macrophages; tumor-associated neutrophils
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Santegoets, S.J.A.M.; Welters, M.J.P.; van der Burg, S.H. Monitoring of the Immune Dysfunction in Cancer Patients. Vaccines 2016, 4, 29.

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