Dendritic Cells in Tumor Immunology



Tumorigenesis, a multistage process, is regulated by mechanisms such as genetic factors of the host, various environmental factors, and different host-derived factors. Cancer development represents an outcome of the process of tumorigenesis. In this chapter, we use the terms tumorigenesis and carcinogenesis to indicate the process of cancer development. A cancer mass may become clinically visible in a genetically susceptible host under the influence of different procarcinogenic environmental factors. A series of mutations and/or epigenetic changes is required to drive the transformation of a normal cell into a malignant tumor cell. When a cell is exposed to chemical, physical, or microbial carcinogens, initiation of carcinogenesis usually begins with DNA damage. The next phase is dependent on repair of damaged DNA. If not repaired, DNA damage could produce genetic mutations. The majority of these DNA alterations do not lead to cancer risk because these alterations represent an essential part of the normal life cycle. However, the damage of critical genes could be lethal, and sometimes the mutations create a growth advantage for a cell because of increased proliferation or reduced cell death. The most relevant in this regard are mutations activating proto-oncogenes and inactivating tumor suppressor genes.


Dendritic Cell Tumor Antigen Immune Surveillance Antitumor Immunity Tumor Immunology 
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© Morikazu Onji and Sk. Md. Fazle Akbar 2008

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