Tumour immunology describes the interaction between cells of the immune system with tumour cells. Understanding these interactions is important for the development of new therapies for cancer treatment. Cancer immunology has matured into a vibrant discipline, impacting both basic cancer research and clinical oncology. Investigations into the host-tumor relationship have delineated a complex interplay of cancer cells, stromal elements, and immune components. Within the tumor microenvironment, a broad spectrum of host responses may be generated, which may range from protective cytotoxic reactions to tumor-promoting inflammatory reactions.
Cancer immunology is thus an interdisciplinary branch of biology that is concerned with understanding the role of the immune system in the progression and development of cancer; the most well known application is cancer immunotherapy, which utilises the immune system as a treatment for cancer.
A major focus of recent studies in cancer immunology is the immune microenvironment. Multiple cells and molecular interactions in the tumor microenvironment inhibit antitumor immune responses. These cells include regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, which accumulate in tumors. Both cell types suppress cytotoxic T-cell responses that threaten tumors with destruction.
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