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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
IF: 1.352 5-Year IF: 3.347 SJR: 1.022 SNIP: 0.55 CiteScore™: 2.19

ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.2014010183
pages 91-102

Tumor Plasticity Interferes with Anti-Tumor Immunity

Salem Chouaib
Thumbay Research Institute for Precision Medicine, Gulf Medical University, Ajman 4184, United Arab Emirates; INSERM UMR 1186, Integrative Tumor Immunology and Genetic Oncology, Gustave Roussy, EPHE, Faculty de Médecine University Paris-Sud, University Paris-Saclay, Villejuif F-94805, France
Bassam Janji
Laboratory of Experimental Hemato-Oncology, Department of Oncology, Public Research Center for Health (CRP-Sante), L-1526 Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Andres Tittarelli
Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM U753); Institut Federatif de Recherche 54 (IFR54); Institut de cancerologie Gustave Roussy. F-94800 Villejuif, France
Alexander Eggermont
Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM U753); Institut Federatif de Recherche 54 (IFR54); Institut de cancerologie Gustave Roussy. F-94800 Villejuif, France
Jean Paul Thiery
Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore; Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR, Singapore; Department of Biochemistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore


Since tumor cell plasticity was first shown to be crucial in tumor promotion and immune surveillance evasion, it has become an issue of intense investigation. Several mechanisms are associated with the acquisition of tumor cell plasticity and immune evasion, including loss of epithelial phenotype through epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). We discuss recent evidence revealing that tumor cell plasticity may lead to the emergence of immunoresistant variants and how the tumor microenvironment evolves to shape this plasticity. We argue that targeting carcinoma cell plasticity represents a novel strategy to better control the emergence of resistant variants and to ensure more effective cancer therapies. In this context, the design of innovative integrative immunotherapy approaches is warranted.

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