field was born from a marriage of the techniques of cancer virus research and immunology. Over the past 40 years, it has followed the path of cancer research. Now cancer treatments are turning to immunotherapy, and there are many hints of the role of the p53 protein in both the regulation of the innate immune system and as an antigen in adaptive immune responses. The p53
gene and protein are part of the innate immune system, and play an important role in infectious diseases, senescence, aging, and the surveillance of repetitive DNA and RNAs. The mutant form of the p53 protein in cancers elicits both a B-cell antibody response (a tumor antigen) and a CD-8 killer T-cell response (a tumor-specific transplantation antigen). The future will take the p53
-immune response field of research into cancer immunotherapy, autoimmunity, inflammatory responses, neuro-degeneration, aging, and life span, and the regulation of epigenetic stability and tissue regeneration. The next 40 years will bring the p53
gene and its proteins out of a cancer focus and into an organismic and environmental focus.
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