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Molecules in cancer immunotherapy: benefits and side effects
  1. Adrian C Bateman
  1. Department of Cellular Pathology, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adrian C Bateman, Department of Cellular Pathology, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK; adrian.bateman{at}


This mini review describes some of the key interactions between cancer cells and the immune system. This includes the concept of tumour cell immunosurveillance, mechanisms of immune evasion by tumour cells and some of the novel immunology-based anticancer therapies that have recently been introduced. The latter are also set into the context of the enlarging spectrum of immunohistochemistry-based and molecular testing that can now be performed on formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues for predicting response to both well-established and newly developed agents. The emerging field of cancer immunotherapy requires and encourages close working between cellular and molecular pathology and clinical cancer treatment, while providing new hope for patients with cancers that may not have responded to conventional oncological treatments.

  • cancer
  • immunocytochemistry
  • immunology

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  • Handling editor Des Richardson.

  • Contributors This is a sole author script. ACB created the concept for the review, prepared the script and checked it.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.