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Cancer immunology: Charting the course forward for immunoprofiling

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Science  27 Mar 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6229, pp. 1491
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6229.1491-c


How cells behave in the body depends on numerous factors. Interactions with other cells, through direct contact or via various dissolved factors, are especially important. These interactions not only enable cell survival, but also influence fundamental cellular properties and behaviors. Cancer cells, although aberrant in many respects, are still influenced by their cellular milieu. In fact, associations of cancer cells with the normal peritumoral microenvironment can profoundly impact tumor growth and development. New technologies are coming to the fore that allow interrogation of the types of cells interacting with tumors, in particular providing intelligence on the broad variety of complex associations between tumor cells and the immune system. The depth and breadth of information obtained is promoting biomarker discovery, especially potential targets for drug therapies, as well as possibly enabling improved patient stratification for clinical trials and treatment protocols. Understanding how to obtain this data and how best to use it is critical for future advances in research and cancer treatment.