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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Fourteenth Annual Pezcoller Symposium: the novel dichotomy of immune interactions with tumors.

The main focus of the Symposium was the fact that cell types of the innate and adaptive immune systems can have tumor-favoring as well as tumor antagonistic effects, both in a preventive and therapeutic mode. It was shown that macrophages (Mphi) and dendritic cells within a tumor exert tumor-favoring effects through the action of certain cytokines. Inflammatory reactions could favor the onset and growth of tumors. Dual immune functions were shown with CD4+ T cells and certain matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activities favoring tumor progression and CD8+ T cells and certain heat shock proteins having antitumor action. Lack of antitumor action despite positive immune stimulation was also shown to depend on the existence of barriers to tumor infiltration by lymphocytes; remodeling of vasculature, e.g., by IFNgamma-induced cytokines like MIG and IPIO, reversed this type of impediment. Certain CXC cytokines increased tumor progression, whereas others, particularly those induced by IFNgamma, had the opposite effect; stromal-derived factor-1 and its receptor CXCR4 affected tumor propensity to metastasize in certain organs. Stromal-derived factor-1 induced MMP9, which in turn regulated the bioavailability of vascular endothelial growth factor and the cascade of its tumor-favoring effects, whereas granulocyte colony-stimulating factor decreased MMP9 and the consequences of its action. The effects of certain proinflammatory cytokines and vascular endothelial growth factor functions in angiogenesis and lymphoangiogenesis were also discussed. The favoring effects of fever-like thermal stress on the function of molecules instrumental in lymphoid cell adhesion to vessels and infiltration into sites of immune actions were described. The mechanisms involved in the development of immune memory and those conditioning Type I and CTL responses were also discussed. A number of presentations were concerned with laboratory studies aimed at developing clinical regimens with potential activity in the prevention or treatment of cancer. Prevention of Her2/neu breast cancer in transgenic mice was achieved by suitable regimens with IL12 combined with vaccines, including DNA-based vaccines administered in conjunction with electroporation. Vaccination with shared tumor antigen MUCI or cyclin B was discussed, and its clinical translation was described. The prevention of TRAMP prostate tumor in transgenic mice by anti-CTLA4 antibody plus vaccine was described, as was the translation of these regimens to the clinics. Clinical successes in melanoma patients using antimelanoma antigen antibodies in a therapeutic mode and precautions to be exerted in evaluating in vivo immune responses based on in vitro assays were emphasized. The symposium was concluded with an overall discussion focused on basic questions related to the capability of immunity to exert tumor-favoring or antitumor effects depending on conditions determined by both tumor and host functions.[1]


  1. Fourteenth Annual Pezcoller Symposium: the novel dichotomy of immune interactions with tumors. Hanahan, D., Lanzavecchia, A., Mihich, E. Cancer Res. (2003) [Pubmed]
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