In the fight against cancer, our body’s defense system, the immune system, plays a huge role. As cancer grows, there’s a phase where the bad cells dodge the immune system’s control.
Different treatments like immunotherapies, chemotherapy, targeted drugs, and radiation aim to fix this or slow down cancer growth. Understanding how the immune system controls cancer, known as immunosurveillance, is super important in how doctors manage cancer today.
How Immunosurveillance Helps Treatments
We used to think cancer only affected cells, but now we know it affects the whole body’s system, including the immune system and other parts. Immunosurveillance is how our body’s defense system stops cancer from growing. For tumors to become a big problem, the changed cells must hide from our body’s anti-cancer response.
Finding certain immune cells in the tumor and signs of T-cell activity is really important. These things tell us how treatments, especially immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), which help T cells fight cancer, might work. These treatments are a big part of fighting cancer today, and doctors use them for lots of different types of cancer.
Kroemer, Guido, Timothy A. Chan, Alexander M. M. Eggermont, and Lorenzo Galluzzi. “Immunosurveillance in Clinical Cancer Management.” CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, October 25, 2023. https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21818.