An immunologic portrait of cancer

Maria L. Ascierto, Valeria De Giorgi, Qiuzhen Liu, Davide Bedognetti, Tara L. Spivey, Daniela Murtas, Lorenzo Uccellini, Ben D. Ayotte, David F. Stroncek, Lotfi Chouchane, Masoud H. Manjili, Ena Wang, Francesco M. Marincola

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The advent of high-throughput technology challenges the traditional histopathological classification of cancer, and proposes new taxonomies derived from global transcriptional patterns. Although most of these molecular re-classifications did not endure the test of time, they provided bulk of new information that can reframe our understanding of human cancer biology. Here, we focus on an immunologic interpretation of cancer that segregates oncogenic processes independent from their tissue derivation into at least two categories of which one bears the footprints of immune activation. Several observations describe a cancer phenotype where the expression of interferon stimulated genes and immune effector mechanisms reflect patterns commonly observed during the inflammatory response against pathogens, which leads to elimination of infected cells. As these signatures are observed in growing cancers, they are not sufficient to entirely clear the organism of neoplastic cells but they sustain, as in chronic infections, a self-perpetuating inflammatory process. Yet, several studies determined an association between this inflammatory status and a favorable natural history of the disease or a better responsiveness to cancer immune therapy. Moreover, these signatures overlap with those observed during immune-mediated cancer rejection and, more broadly, immune-mediated tissue-specific destruction in other immune pathologies. Thus, a discussion concerning this cancer phenotype is warranted as it remains unknown why it occurs in immune competent hosts. It also remains uncertain whether a genetically determined response of the host to its own cancer, the genetic makeup of the neoplastic process or a combination of both drives the inflammatory process. Here we reflect on commonalities and discrepancies among studies and on the genetic or somatic conditions that may cause this schism in cancer behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number146
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2011

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Tissue
Pathology
Pathogens
Taxonomies
Interferons
Neoplasms
Genes
Chemical activation
Throughput
Association reactions
Phenotype
Neoplastic Processes
Technology
Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Ascierto, M. L., Giorgi, V. D., Liu, Q., Bedognetti, D., Spivey, T. L., Murtas, D., ... Marincola, F. M. (2011). An immunologic portrait of cancer. Journal of Translational Medicine, 9(1), [146]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5876-9-146

An immunologic portrait of cancer. / Ascierto, Maria L.; Giorgi, Valeria De; Liu, Qiuzhen; Bedognetti, Davide; Spivey, Tara L.; Murtas, Daniela; Uccellini, Lorenzo; Ayotte, Ben D.; Stroncek, David F.; Chouchane, Lotfi; Manjili, Masoud H.; Wang, Ena; Marincola, Francesco M.

In: Journal of Translational Medicine, Vol. 9, No. 1, 146, 29.08.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Ascierto, ML, Giorgi, VD, Liu, Q, Bedognetti, D, Spivey, TL, Murtas, D, Uccellini, L, Ayotte, BD, Stroncek, DF, Chouchane, L, Manjili, MH, Wang, E & Marincola, FM 2011, 'An immunologic portrait of cancer', Journal of Translational Medicine, vol. 9, no. 1, 146. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5876-9-146
Ascierto ML, Giorgi VD, Liu Q, Bedognetti D, Spivey TL, Murtas D et al. An immunologic portrait of cancer. Journal of Translational Medicine. 2011 Aug 29;9(1). 146. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5876-9-146
Ascierto, Maria L. ; Giorgi, Valeria De ; Liu, Qiuzhen ; Bedognetti, Davide ; Spivey, Tara L. ; Murtas, Daniela ; Uccellini, Lorenzo ; Ayotte, Ben D. ; Stroncek, David F. ; Chouchane, Lotfi ; Manjili, Masoud H. ; Wang, Ena ; Marincola, Francesco M. / An immunologic portrait of cancer. In: Journal of Translational Medicine. 2011 ; Vol. 9, No. 1.
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