Targeting and utilizing primary tumors as live vaccines: Changing strategies

Xuanming Yang, Eric D. Mortenson, Yang Xin Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Tumor metastases and relapse are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in cancer. Although surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy can typically control primary tumor growth, metastatic and relapsing tumors are often inaccessible or resistant to these treatments. An adaptive immune response can be generated during these conventional treatments of the primary tumor, and presumably both the primary tumor and secondary metastases share many of the same or similar antigenic characteristics recognized by the immune system. Thus, when established, this response should be able to control metastatic growth and tumor relapse. This review summarizes the mechanisms by which antitumor immune responses are generated, and recent findings supporting the hypothesis that many therapies targeting primary tumors can generate antitumor adaptive immune responses to prevent metastases and tumor relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalCellular and Molecular Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • chemotherapy
  • immunotherapy
  • metastasis
  • radiotherapy
  • tumor vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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