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      Mechanisms and Αpplications of Ιnterleukins in Cancer Immunotherapy

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          Over the past years, advances in cancer immunotherapy have resulted in innovative and novel approaches in molecular cancer diagnostics and cancer therapeutic procedures. However, due to tumor heterogeneity and inter-tumoral discrepancy in tumor immunity, the clinical benefits are quite restricted. The goal of this review is to evaluate the major cytokines-interleukins involved in cancer immunotherapy and project their basic biochemical and clinical applications. Emphasis will be given to new cytokines in pre-clinical development, and potential directions for future investigation using cytokines. Furthermore, current interleukin-based approaches and clinical trial data from combination cancer immunotherapies will also be discussed. It appears that continuously increasing comprehension of cytokine-induced effects, cancer stemness, immunoediting, immune-surveillance as well as understanding of molecular interactions emerging in the tumor microenvironment and involving microRNAs, autophagy, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), inflammation, and DNA methylation processes may hold much promise in improving anti-tumor immunity. To this end, the emerging in-depth knowledge supports further studies on optimal synergistic combinations and additional adjuvant therapies to realize the full potential of cytokines as immunotherapeutic agents.

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          Most cited references 92

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          The three Es of cancer immunoediting.

          After a century of controversy, the notion that the immune system regulates cancer development is experiencing a new resurgence. An overwhelming amount of data from animal models--together with compelling data from human patients--indicate that a functional cancer immunosurveillance process indeed exists that acts as an extrinsic tumor suppressor. However, it has also become clear that the immune system can facilitate tumor progression, at least in part, by sculpting the immunogenic phenotype of tumors as they develop. The recognition that immunity plays a dual role in the complex interactions between tumors and the host prompted a refinement of the cancer immunosurveillance hypothesis into one termed "cancer immunoediting." In this review, we summarize the history of the cancer immunosurveillance controversy and discuss its resolution and evolution into the three Es of cancer immunoediting--elimination, equilibrium, and escape.
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            Macrophage Cytokines: Involvement in Immunity and Infectious Diseases

            The evolution of macrophages has made them primordial for both development and immunity. Their functions range from the shaping of body plans to the ingestion and elimination of apoptotic cells and pathogens. Cytokines are small soluble proteins that confer instructions and mediate communication among immune and non-immune cells. A portfolio of cytokines is central to the role of macrophages as sentries of the innate immune system that mediate the transition from innate to adaptive immunity. In concert with other mediators, cytokines bias the fate of macrophages into a spectrum of inflammation-promoting “classically activated,” to anti-inflammatory or “alternatively activated” macrophages. Deregulated cytokine secretion is implicated in several disease states ranging from chronic inflammation to allergy. Macrophages release cytokines via a series of beautifully orchestrated pathways that are spatiotemporally regulated. At the molecular level, these exocytic cytokine secretion pathways are coordinated by multi-protein complexes that guide cytokines from their point of synthesis to their ports of exit into the extracellular milieu. These trafficking proteins, many of which were discovered in yeast and commemorated in the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, coordinate the organelle fusion steps that are responsible for cytokine release. This review discusses the functions of cytokines secreted by macrophages, and summarizes what is known about their release mechanisms. This information will be used to delve into how selected pathogens subvert cytokine release for their own survival.
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              Cancer Exome Analysis Reveals a T Cell Dependent Mechanism of Cancer Immunoediting

              Cancer immunoediting, the process whereby the immune system controls tumour outgrowth and shapes tumour immunogenicity, is comprised of three phases: elimination, equilibrium and escape 1–5 . Although many immune components that participate in this process are known, its underlying mechanisms remain poorly defined. A central tenet of cancer immunoediting is that T cell recognition of tumour antigens drives the immunologic destruction or sculpting of a developing cancer. However, our current understanding of tumour antigens comes largely from analyses of cancers that develop in immunocompetent hosts and thus may have already been edited. Little is known about the antigens expressed in nascent tumour cells, whether they are sufficient to induce protective anti-tumour immune responses or whether their expression is modulated by the immune system. Here, using massively parallel sequencing, we characterize expressed mutations in highly immunogenic methylcholanthrene-induced sarcomas derived from immunodeficient Rag2−/− mice which phenotypically resemble nascent primary tumour cells 1,3,5 . Employing class I prediction algorithms, we identify mutant spectrin-β2 as a potential rejection antigen of the d42m1 sarcoma and validate this prediction by conventional antigen expression cloning and detection. We also demonstrate that cancer immunoediting of d42m1 occurs via a T cell-dependent immunoselection process that promotes outgrowth of pre-existing tumour cell clones lacking highly antigenic mutant spectrin-β2 and other potential strong antigens. These results demonstrate that the strong immunogenicity of an unedited tumour can be ascribed to expression of highly antigenic mutant proteins and show that outgrowth of tumour cells that lack these strong antigens via a T cell-dependent immunoselection process represents one mechanism of cancer immunoediting.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                13 January 2015
                January 2015
                : 16
                : 1
                : 1691-1710
                [1 ]Laboratory of General Biology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece; E-Mail: anestaki@
                [2 ]Laboratory of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
                [3 ]Department of Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece; E-Mails: spetanid@ (S.P.); christiane.nday@ (C.M.N.); tsaveolga@ (O.T.); efi.kioseoglou@ (E.K.)
                [4 ]Department of Internal Medicine, General Hospital of Halkidiki, Poligiros 63100, Greece; E-Mail: roskal@
                Author notes
                [* ]Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: salif@ ; Tel.: +30-2310-996-179; Fax: +30-2310-996-196.
                © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (



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