, Volume 99, Issue 2, pp 105-106
Date: 07 Jan 2014

Guest editorial: immunotherapy for hematological malignancies: the quest to overcome tolerogenic drive

This is an excerpt from the content

How easily a healthy body can defend itself against ordinary pathogens! If only it was possible to do the same against self-derived malignancies. Unfortunately, however, the physiology of the immune system discourages such a persistent fight by establishing the overwhelming hurdle of “tolerance”. For this reason, tumor immunotherapy stands as an ultimate challenge to the fundamental basis of immunology. Will we ever win this battle? Recent remarkable advances in related fields are finally beginning to make tumor immunologists confident enough to answer in the affirmative.

In fact, it has been hematologists who have led the field of tumor immunotherapy through their work in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, which exploits the power of graft-versus-tumor effects. However, this is inevitably accompanied by graft-versus-host disease, which precludes elderly patients, who represent a major population suffering from hematological malignancies, from receiving allogeneic tran