Spontaneous and treatment-induced cancer rejection in humans

Ena Wang, Silvia Selleri, Marianna Sabatino, Alessandro Monaco, Zoltan Pos, Andrea Worschech, David F. Stroncek, Francesco M. Marincola

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Experimental observations suggest that human cancer cells actively interact with normal host cells and this cross-talk results, in most instances, in an increased potential of cancer cells to survive. On the other hand, it is also well documented that on rare occasions tumors can be dramatically destroyed by the host's immune response. Objective: In this review, we argue that understanding the mechanisms that bring about the immune response and lead to cancer destruction is of paramount importance for the design of future rational therapies. Methods: Here we summarize the present understanding of the phenomenology leading to cancer regression in humans and propose novel strategies for a more efficient study of human cancer under natural conditions and during therapy. Conclusion: The understanding of tumor/host interactions within the tumor microenvironment is a key component of the study of tumor immunology in humans, much can be learned by a dynamic study of such interactions at time points related to the natural history of the disease or its response to therapy. Such understanding will eventually lead to novel and more effective therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-349
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008



  • Functional genomics
  • Immunotherapy
  • Melanoma
  • Microarrays
  • Renal cell cancer
  • Tumor immunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry

Cite this

Wang, E., Selleri, S., Sabatino, M., Monaco, A., Pos, Z., Worschech, A., Stroncek, D. F., & Marincola, F. M. (2008). Spontaneous and treatment-induced cancer rejection in humans. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy, 8(3), 337-349. https://doi.org/10.1517/14712598.8.3.337