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Open AccessReview

Immune Therapy Resistance and Immune Escape of Tumors

by 1,2,* and 1
Institute of Medical Immunology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, 06112 Halle, Germany
Fraunhofer Institute of Cell Therapy and Immunology, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Constantin N. Baxevanis
Cancers 2021, 13(3), 551;
Received: 18 January 2021 / Accepted: 28 January 2021 / Published: 1 February 2021
The genetic adaptability of malignant cells and their consequent heterogeneity even within the same patient poses a great obstacle to cancer patient treatment. This review summarizes the data obtained in the last decade on different preclinical mice models as well as on various immunotherapeutic clinical trials in distinct solid and hematopoietic cancers on how the immune system can be implemented in tumor therapy. Moreover, the different intrinsic and extrinsic escape strategies utilized by the tumor to avoid elimination by the immune system are recapitulated together with the different approaches proposed to overcome them in order to succeed and/or to enhance therapy efficacy.
Immune therapy approaches such as checkpoint inhibitors or adoptive cell therapy represent promising therapeutic options for cancer patients, but their efficacy is still limited, since patients frequently develop innate or acquired resistances to these therapies. Thus, one major goal is to increase the efficiency of immunotherapies by overcoming tumor-induced immune suppression, which then allows for immune-mediated tumor clearance. Innate resistance to immunotherapies could be caused by a low immunogenicity of the tumor itself as well as an immune suppressive microenvironment composed of cellular, physical, or soluble factors leading to escape from immune surveillance and disease progression. So far, a number of strategies causing resistance to immunotherapy have been described in various clinical trials, which broadly overlap with the immunoediting processes of cancers. This review summarizes the novel insights in the development of resistances to immune therapy as well as different approaches that could be employed to overcome them. View Full-Text
Keywords: immunotherapy; checkpoint inhibitor; resistance; immune escape immunotherapy; checkpoint inhibitor; resistance; immune escape
MDPI and ACS Style

Seliger, B.; Massa, C. Immune Therapy Resistance and Immune Escape of Tumors. Cancers 2021, 13, 551.

AMA Style

Seliger B, Massa C. Immune Therapy Resistance and Immune Escape of Tumors. Cancers. 2021; 13(3):551.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Seliger, Barbara; Massa, Chiara. 2021. "Immune Therapy Resistance and Immune Escape of Tumors" Cancers 13, no. 3: 551.

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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