Histocompatibility Antigens Tumor Microenvironment and Escape Mechanisms Utilized by Tumor Cells

Soldano Ferrone and Theresa L. Whiteside

Abstract The disappointing clinical responses to T cell-based immunotherapy have stimulated interest in the characterization of the escape mechanisms ultilized by tumor cells to avoid immune recognition and destruction. In this paper we review changes in the expression of antigen processing machinery components, classical and non-classical HLA class I antigens and NK cell activating ligands by cytokines present in the microenvironment. In addition the potential effects on immune cells of classical and non-classical HLA class I antigens and NK cell activating ligands released in the tumor microenvironment are described. The implications of these findings for the design of immunotherapeutic strategies for the treatment of malignant diseases are discussed.

Keywords Antigen processing machinery, classical HLA class I antigens, cytokines, immunoescape, immunotherapy, NK-cell activating ligands, non-classical HLA class I antigens

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