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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 760965, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/760965
Review Article

Immunotherapy of Cancer: Reprogramming Tumor-Immune Crosstalk

1Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA
2Department of Internal Medicine, Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA
3Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA

Received 2 August 2012; Accepted 25 September 2012

Academic Editor: Guido Kroemer

Copyright © 2012 Kyle K. Payne et al. 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.

Abstract

The advancement of cancer immunotherapy faces barriers which limit its efficacy. These include weak immunogenicity of the tumor, as well as immunosuppressive mechanisms which prevent effective antitumor immune responses. Recent studies suggest that aberrant expression of cancer testis antigens (CTAs) can generate robust antitumor immune responses, which implicates CTAs as potential targets for immunotherapy. However, the heterogeneity of tumor cells in the presence and quantity of CTA expression results in tumor escape from CTA-specific immune responses. Thus, the ability to modulate the tumor cell epigenome to homogenously induce expression of such antigens will likely render the tumor more immunogenic. Additionally, emerging studies suggest that suppression of antitumor immune responses may be overcome by reprogramming innate and adaptive immune cells. Therefore, this paper discusses recent studies which address barriers to successful cancer immunotherapy and proposes a strategy of modulation of tumor-immune cell crosstalk to improve responses in carcinoma patients.