Author(s): Trinchieri G
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Abstract Innate and adaptive immunity are activated by both infections and tumors. The immune cells infiltrating infected tissues are similar to those infiltrating neoplastic tissues, but their function in the first setting is quite different from that in the latter. Infected tissues are usually characterized by an acute inflammatory environment that favors the generation of protective immunity, whereas tumors are characterized by chronic inflammation that suppresses antitumor immune responses and promotes tumor growth and escape from the immune system. During resolution of the immune response to infection or in chronic infections, immunosuppressive mechanisms that are typical of the tumor microenvironment are observed in infected tissues. Conversely, immunotherapy and chemotherapy may redirect the tumor microenvironment and allow the activation of effective anticancer immune responses. The transformation of neoplastic cells is determined by intrinsic genetic alteration but tumor progression is controlled by the tumor microenvironment and by the inflammatory and immune response to the tumors. Commensal microorganisms live in great numbers in all our barrier epithelia and control inflammation and immunity both locally and systemically. The commensal microbiota is essential for optimal immune response to pathogens and for the establishment of autoimmunity. It also modulates inflammation and immune responses that affect tumor growth and it is required for the effectiveness of anticancer immunotherapy and chemotherapy. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
This article was published in J Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of Orthopedic Oncology