, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 5-12,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Tumor immunosurveillance in human cancers

Abstract

Until now, the anatomic extent of tumor (TNM classification) has been by far the most important factor to predict the prognosis of colorectal cancer patients. However, in recent years, data collected from large cohorts of human cancers demonstrated that the immune contexture of the primary tumors is an essential prognostic factor for patients’ disease-free and overall survival. Tumoral and immunological markers predicted by systems biology methods are involved in the shaping of an efficient immune reaction and can serve as targets for novel therapeutic approaches. Global analysis of tumor microenvironment showed that the nature, the functional orientation, the density, and the location of adaptive immune cells within distinct tumor regions influence the risk of relapse events. The density and the immune cell location within the tumor have a prognostic value that is superior to the TNM classification, and tumor invasion is statistically dependent on the host-immune reaction. Thus, the strength of the immune reaction could advance our understanding of cancer evolution and have important consequences in clinical practice.