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The immune system in cancer metastasis: friend or foe?

Authors
  • Janssen, Louise M E1
  • Ramsay, Emma E2
  • Logsdon, Craig D2
  • Overwijk, Willem W3, 4
  • 1 Departments of Melanoma Medical Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
  • 2 Cancer Biology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
  • 3 Departments of Melanoma Medical Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. [email protected]
  • 4 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX, USA. [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Oct 17, 2017
Volume
5
Issue
1
Pages
79–79
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s40425-017-0283-9
PMID: 29037250
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Metastatic disease is the leading cause of death among cancer patients and involves a complex and inefficient process. Every step of the metastatic process can be rate limiting and is influenced by non-malignant host cells interacting with the tumor cell. Over a century ago, experiments first indicated a link between the immune system and metastasis. This phenomenon, called concomitant immunity, indicates that the primary tumor induces an immune response, which may not be sufficient to destroy the primary tumor, but prevents the growth of a secondary tumor or metastases. Since that time, many different immune cells have been shown to play a role in both inhibiting and promoting metastatic disease. Here we review classic and new observations, describing the links between the immune system and metastasis that inform the development of cancer therapies.

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