Rebuilding immunity in cancer patients

Stanimir Vuk-Pavlovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Rebuilding and maintaining immunity are paramount to the success of cancer immunotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. If immune surveillance indeed can protect from cancer, the very manifestation of malignancy means that the disease has prevailed over immunity. Yet, often, tumor-specific T cells can be found in cancer patients irrespective of vaccination. Interestingly, patients suffering from malignancy often harbor unexpectedly high levels of immature CD14+HLA-DR- monocytes, although the abundance of CD4+ cells, CD8+ cells and CD4+CD25high cells may be normal. It is plausible that in cancer such cells suppress T cell function, analogous to CD14+HLA-DR- cells in sepsis and major trauma, in addition to their likely failure to re-present tumor-associated antigens once dendritic cells have initiated the T cell response. Recent evidence indicates that tumor-borne adenosine, lactate and hypoxia in the tumor environment may modulate tumor-specific immunity to a significant extent, but their effects on myeloid cell function are unclear. Thus, understanding and controlling these factors may appreciably impact the success of rebuilding and maintaining immunity in cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalBlood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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