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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2011, Article ID 732413, 20 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/732413
Review Article

Challenges in Immunotherapy Presented by the Glioblastoma Multiforme Microenvironment

1Department of Neurosurgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA
2Department of Oncology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA

Received 1 July 2011; Accepted 24 October 2011

Academic Editor: Michael H. Kershaw

Copyright © 2011 Christopher Jackson 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

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor in adults. Despite intensive treatment, the prognosis for patients with GBM remains grim with a median survival of only 14.6 months. Immunotherapy has emerged as a promising approach for treating many cancers and affords the advantages of cellular-level specificity and the potential to generate durable immune surveillance. The complexity of the tumor microenvironment poses a significant challenge to the development of immunotherapy for GBM, as multiple signaling pathways, cytokines, and cell types are intricately coordinated to generate an immunosuppressive milieu. The development of new immunotherapy approaches frequently uncovers new mechanisms of tumor-mediated immunosuppression. In this review, we discuss many of the current approaches to immunotherapy and focus on the challenges presented by the tumor microenvironment.