Article

Interferons, immunity and cancer immunoediting

Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology and Immunology, Box 8118, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.
Nature reviews. Immunology (Impact Factor: 33.84). 12/2006; 6(11):836-48. DOI: 10.1038/nri1961
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A clear picture of the dynamic relationship between the host immune system and cancer is emerging as the cells and molecules that participate in naturally occurring antitumour immune responses are being identified. The interferons (IFNs) - that is, the type I IFNs (IFNalpha and IFNbeta) and type II IFN (IFNgamma) - have emerged as central coordinators of tumour-immune-system interactions. Indeed, the decade-old finding that IFNgamma has a pivotal role in promoting antitumour responses became the focus for a renewed interest in the largely abandoned concept of cancer immunosurveillance. More recently, type I IFNs have been found to have distinct functions in this process. In this Review, we discuss the roles of the IFNs, not only in cancer immunosurveillance but also in the broader process of cancer immunoediting.

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    • "Whereas IFN-a/b primarily exerts its effects on macrophages, DCs, and NK cells by facilitating their activation and maturation and by enhancing their capacity to induce adaptive immune responses (Dunn et al. 2006), IFN-c directly affects the tumor via inhibition of tumor cell proliferation, apoptosis induction, inhibition of angiogenesis, and an overall enhancement of tumor immunogenicity (Dunn et al. 2006; Lugade et al. 2008; Reits et al. 2006). Additionally, IFN-c contributes to the stimulation of an antitumor immune response since it is essentially involved in T H 1/T C 1 cell responses and exerts similar effects as IFN-a/b in terms of innate immune cell activation and DC-mediated antigen cross-presentation (Dunn et al. 2006). This interferon cascade of innate and adaptive immune responses has only been described in case of ablative but not conventional, fractionated radiotherapy (Lee et al. 2009), and the question that needs to be addressed is why. "
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