Research NewsImmunology

An Immune Boost to the War on Cancer

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Science  05 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5258, pp. 28-30
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5258.28

Summary

As immunologists learn more and more about the molecular workings of the immune system, they are beginning to apply that knowledge in hopes of developing a new generation of vaccines, as well as treatments for a wide range of diseases. Recent efforts aimed at devising new immunotherapies for cancer show the promise, as well as the potential pitfalls, of these efforts. On the one hand, researchers have found that several strategies have produced encouraging results in animals. Among them: genetically engineering tumor cells to boost their ability to generate an anti-tumor immune response and using specific tumor antigens to do the same. But on the other, they know they have their work cut out for them because years of experience have shown that promising animal results often don't translate into success in humans.

Science invites all immunologists to air their opinions on what the realistic prospects are for these immunotherapies and when they are likely to happen. You can respond in a questionnaire. We will collate the responses received for a month after publication and post the results in late May.