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Other Talks in the Series: Immunotherapy of Cancer

Other Talks in the Series: Vaccines

This lecture is about cancer vaccines. And I'm Cornelis Melief, Emeritus Professor at Leiden University Medical Center and Chief Scientific Officer at ISA Pharmaceuticals.
This slide shows the major hallmarks of cancer published in the journal Cell in the year 2000. And amazingly enough, of all the properties here of cancer cells, such as sustaining proliferative signaling, evading growth repressors, activating invasion and metastasis, et cetera, there is no mention at all of the immune response against cancer cells. Whereas we now know that this is a major interaction taking place between cancer cells and the immune system.
Fortunately, Hanahan and Weinberg realized this and revisited the hallmarks of cancer yet again in a publication in Cell in the year 2011. And now at the right-hand side of this slide, you see emerging hallmarks, enabling characteristics, two of which deal with the immune system. So in order for cancer to be successful, it has to avoid immune destruction. On the other hand, the other side of the coin of the immune system is that certain types of immunity, such as inflammation of a particular type, for example, that promoted by interleukin-6, can promote tumor growth rather than kill tumor cells, whereas avoiding immune destruction means that there are types of immune response that we will return to that can actually kill tumor cells, such as cytotoxic T cells and interferon gamma-producing T cells, in general.