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Cancer immunotherapy

Cancer immunotherapy (immuno-oncology) is the use of the immune system to treat cancer. It has been recognized as breakthrough of the year 2013 by the editor of SCIENCE due to the success of immune checkpoint inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineering T cells in clinical trials [1]. It has been reported recently that there are high burden and pervasive positive selection of somatic mutations in normal human skin [2], suggesting that it is not easy to skin cancer in human body even in the presence of lot of mutations. The major reason should be ascribed to the healthy immune system we have, which could monitor the mutant cells and remove them. However, when the immune system was compromised, the mutant cells might survive, expand and then hijack the immune system to form tumor tissues. Thus, it seems essential to modify our immune system to fight cancer.

Adoptive T-cell therapy