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Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis
SJR: 0.631 SNIP: 0.503 CiteScore™: 2

ISSN Imprimer: 0893-9675
ISSN En ligne: 2162-6448

Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevOncog.2013010591
pages 573-583

Optimization of Immunotherapy in Elderly Cancer Patients

Kei Tomihara
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences for Research, University of Toyama, Toyama City, Toyama 930-0194, Japan
Tyler J. Curiel
Department of Medicine, Cancer Therapy & Research Center, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas 78229, USA
Bin Zhang
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Medicine–Division of Hematology/Oncology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; Biotherapy Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China


Increasing evidence has revealed the incidence of cancer augments with aging, which could be attributed to a multitude of age-associated changes including the dysregulation of the immune system. Although many reports demonstrate the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies in numerous preclinical studies, most experiments have been performed in young animals. Studies from our group and others show that cancer immunotherapy could be ineffective in old mice, even though the same therapeutic treatment works efficiently in young mice. Given that cancer occurs mostly in the elderly, we should take age-associated immune dysregulation into consideration to achieve the effectiveness of immunotherapeutic interventions in the old. Understanding both age-related and tumor-related immune alterations might be equally important in improving the effectiveness of immunotherapy. This article reviews a number of age-associated immune alterations with specific attention given to the impact on antitumor responses, and also discusses possible strategies for optimization of immunotherapeutic interventions in the elderly.

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