Home > Riviste > Minerva Biotecnologica > Fascicoli precedenti > Minerva Biotecnologica 1999 December;11(4) > Minerva Biotecnologica 1999 December;11(4):283-94





Rivista di Biologia Molecolare e Biotecnologie

Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,246




Minerva Biotecnologica 1999 December;11(4):283-94

lingua: Inglese

The immu­no­ther­a­py of can­cer: understanding mech­a­nisms ­through ani­mal mod­els

Lollini P. L. 1, Bronte V. 2

1 Institute for Cancer Research, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy;
2 Department of Oncology and Surgical Sciences, University of Padua, Padua, Italy


Mouse experi­men­tal mod­els ­have ­unveiled impor­tant ­aspects of the inter­ac­tion ­between ­tumors and ­host ­immune ­system. T and B lym­pho­cytes can effi­cient­ly rec­og­nize anti­gens ­expressed by can­cer ­cells but ­tumors dis­play an ­array of strat­e­gies to ­restrain the ­immune ­attack. Genetic abnor­mal­ities typ­i­cal of grow­ing can­cer ­often ­result in dereg­u­lat­ed syn­the­sis of cyto­kines ­that ­either par­a­lyze the ­immune effec­tors or pre­vent ­their acti­va­tion by tam­per­ing ­with the func­tion and dif­fe­ren­ti­a­tion of anti­gen pre­sent­ing ­cells. The ­effect of cyto­kines on the anti­tu­mor ­response is com­plex and, some­times, con­tra­dic­to­ry. Tumor ­cells trans­duced ­with cyto­kine ­genes ­were ­used ­both as ­tools to ana­lyze the anti­tu­mor ­response and as ther­a­peu­tic vac­cines. Morpholo-gical and func­tion­al stud­ies ­revealed ­that the rejec­tion of ­gene-trans­duced ­tumor ­cells is the com­mon out­come of dis­tinct ­immune respons­es elic­it­ed in the ­host by the prod­ucts of dif­fer­ent trans­genes. Engineered ­tumor ­cells ­induced mea­sur­able respons­es, but usu­al­ly did not ­lead to a com­plete erad­i­ca­tion of pre-exist­ing ­tumors. However, mul­ti­ple ­gene com­bi­na­tion sig­nif­i­cant­ly ­improved ­their ther­a­peu­tic effi­ca­cy ­through the acti­va­tion of syn­er­gis­tic ­immune effec­tors. As an alter­na­tive to ­whole ­cell vac­cines, recom­bi­nant can­cer vac­cines are ­designed to tar­get the ­immune ­response ­against a ­known ­tumor anti­gen. Recombinant can­cer vac­cines ­based on “­self” anti­gens dem­on­strat­ed the pos­sibil­ity to ­break tol­er­ance and ­prime the ­immune ­system; the anti­tu­mor ­response ­that ­they elic­it­ed, how­ev­er, ­could occa­sion­al­ly asso­ciate ­with auto­im­mune man­i­fes­ta­tions. The lat­est devel­op­ments ­come ­from trans­gen­ic and knock­out ­mice. A num­ber of new immu­nod­e­fi­cient ­mice ­allow a pre­cise def­i­ni­tion of the ­role ­played by com­po­nents of the ­immune ­system in the ­response ­against ­tumors. Mice car­ry­ing ­induced muta­tions in onco­genes and in onco­sup­pres­sor ­genes are faith­ful mod­els for recon­struct­ing the ­tumor nat­u­ral his­to­ry. Recent stud­ies dem­on­strat­ed ­that genet­i­cal­ly-deter­mined car­cin­o­gen­e­sis ­could be pre­vent­ed by immu­no­log­i­cal maneu­vers in ­mice, a new con­cept ­that ­awaits test­ing in ­humans.

inizio pagina

Publication History

Per citare questo articolo

Corresponding author e-mail