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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
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ISSN Druckformat: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.2015013607
pages 153-172

CD8+ T Cell−Independent Immune-Mediated Mechanisms of Anti-Tumor Activity

G Elizabeth Pluhar
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN. 55108
Christopher A. Pennell
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. 55445
Michael R. Olin
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55445


Despite the growing number of preclinical and clinical trials focused on immunotherapy for the treatment of malignant gliomas, the prognosis for this disease remains grim. Cancer immunotherapy seeks to recruit an effective immune response to eliminate tumor cells. To date, cancer vaccines have shown only limited effectiveness because of our incomplete understanding of the necessary effector cells and mechanisms that yield efficient tumor clearance. CD8+ T cell cytotoxic activity has long been proposed as the primary effector function necessary for tumor regression. However, there is increasing evidence that indicates that components of the immune system other than CD8+ T cells play important roles in tumor eradication and control. The following review should provide an understanding of the mechanisms involved in an effective antitumor response to guide future therapeutic designs. The information provided suggests an alternate means of effective tumor clearance in malignant glioma to the canonical CD8+ cytotoxic T cell mechanism.

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