Therapeutic applications of the cancer immunoediting hypothesis

Rupen Desai, Andrew T. Coxon, Gavin P. Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Since the late 19th century, the immune system has increasingly garnered interest as a novel avenue for cancer therapy, particularly given scientific breakthroughs in recent decades delineating the fundamental role of the immune system in tumorigenesis. The immunoediting hypothesis has articulated this role, describing three phases of the tumor-immune system interaction: Elimination, Equilibrium, and Escape wherein tumors progress from active immunologic surveillance and destruction through dynamic immunologic stasis to unfettered growth. The primary goals of immunotherapy are to restrict and revert progression through these phases, thereby improving the immune system's ability to control tumor growth. In this review, we detail the development and foundation of the cancer immunoediting hypothesis and apply this hypothesis to the dynamic immunotherapy field that includes checkpoint blockade, vaccine therapy, and adoptive cell transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-77
Number of pages15
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Cancer immunoediting
  • Immunogenomics
  • Immunotherapy


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