Local Tumor Growth and Spontaneous Systemic T Cell Responses in Cancer Patients A Paradox and Puzzle

Philipp Beckhove and Volker Schirrmacher

Abstract We describe and discuss the paradox situation that in many cancer patients functional antitumor memory T cells can be detected in their bone marrow which coexist with a growing tumor in the periphery. This phenomenon, known as "concomitant immunity" suggests that the tumor and its microenvironment prevent systemic antitumor immunity to become effective. Strategies of intervention at the tumor microenvironment are being discussed.

Keywords Memory T cells, bone marrow, tumor dormancy, intervention, danger signals, tumor infiltration

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