Tumor Cell Intrinsic Mechanisms of Immune Escape

Cancer arises in a multi-step process involving acquisition of mutations, activation of oncogenes and the loss of tumor suppressive mechanisms in normal cells. Such intrinsic genetic events lead to cellular transformation and gain of aggressive traits including enhanced proliferation and survival, as well as invasion and metastasis of tumor cells. Recent evidence suggests that tumor cell - intrinsic signaling pathways also lead to suppression of the immune response against tumor cells resulting in failure of cancer cells to be recognized and eliminated. Comprehensive insights into the tumor-intrinsic mechanisms of immune escape will not only expand our understanding of tumor development and progression, but also help formulate new therapeutic strategies in immuno-oncology. Historically, the literature on oncogenes and tumor suppressor mechanisms has primarily focused on signaling pathways leading to tumor cell proliferation, survival, and metastasis. Here, in this special issue of Cell Communication and Signaling, we focus on molecular and mechanistic links between oncogenic signaling and mechanisms of immune escape. Areas include, but are not limited to, (i) how oncogenes can lead to altered expression of antigens and immune checkpoints including CD47, PD-L1, and TIM proteins, (ii) how oncogenic pathways in tumor cells can alter the cytokine/chemokine mileu to promote immune escape (iii) how tumor cell signaling pathways can lead to impaired immune detection and killing and (iv) how oncogenes can alter metabolism to impair host immunity. Through this review series, we hope to highlight the links between tumor cell intrinsic mechanisms including genetic and epigenetic factors and signaling pathways and the immune response to cancer. Furthermore, we also hope to shed light on future avenues of research in this domain that could impact the development of new therapeutic modalities. We welcome the submission of original research and review manuscripts to this series.


  • Ganapathy Sriram

    Ganapathy Sriram, PhD., is currently a Senior Scientist at EMD Serono Research and Development Institute Inc. (Cambridge, MA). He obtained his PhD from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey studying tyrosine phosphorylation and oncogene signaling in cancer biology and did his post-doc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Sriram’s research focuses on how DNA damage and tumor cell injury can activate dendritic cell function and promote anti-tumor immunity.

  • Raymond Birge

    Raymond Birge, PhD., is a Professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and member of the New Jersey Medical School Cancer Center. Dr. Birge joined UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School in 2000 and currently holds a position of Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Birge also has joint appointments at the New Jersey Medical School Cancer Center (Newark) and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (New Brunswick).

Articles (10 in this collection)