A critical function for type I interferons in cancer immunoediting

Gavin P. Dunn, Allen T. Bruce, Kathleen C.F. Sheehan, Vijay Shankaran, Ravindra Uppaluri, Jack D. Bui, Mark S. Diamond, Catherine M. Koebel, Cora Arthur, J. Michael White, Robert D. Schreiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

456 Scopus citations


'Cancer immunoediting' is a process wherein the immune system protects hosts against tumor development and facilitates outgrowth of tumors with reduced immunogenicity. Although interferon-γ (IFN-γ) is known to be involved in this process, the involvement of type I interferons (IFN-α/β) has not been elucidated. We now show that, like IFN-γ, endogenously produced IFN-α/β was required for the prevention of the growth of primary carcinogen-induced and transplantable tumors. Although tumor cells are important IFN-γ targets, they are not functionally relevant sites of the actions of the type I interferons. Instead, host hematopoietic cells are critical IFN-α/β targets during development of protective antitumor responses. Therefore, type I interferons are important components of the cancer immunoediting process and function in a way that does not completely overlap the functions of IFN-γ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-729
Number of pages8
JournalNature immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2005


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