Immunodeficiency and Multiple Primary Malignancies

  • Michele Santangelo
  • Sergio Spiezia
  • Marco Clemente
  • Andrea Renda
  • Arturo Genovese
  • Giuseppe Spadaro
  • Concetta D’Orio
  • Gianni Marone
  • Stefano Federico
  • Massimo Sabbatini
  • Eliana Rotaia
  • Pierluca Piselli
  • Claudia Cimaglia
  • Diego Serraino
Part of the Updates in Surgery book series (UPDATESSURG)


The relationship between cancer onset and the immune response became a subject of great interest in the early 1900s, and led Ehrlich [1] to establish what came to be known as the theory of immunological surveillance. This theory is based on three principles: (1) cancer cells are antigenic, (2) these cells can be destroyed by the immune response of the organism (by a mechanism similar to that observed in transplanted tissue or organ rejection), and (3) immune depression is related to a higher incidence of neoplastic disease [2]. The theory is based on the concept that the immune system is able to recognize cancer cells as non-self and consequently to destroy them. Furthermore, this response involves both branches of the immune system. However, this defensive system is not as perfect as it may seem at first sight, because more often than not a certain number of cancer cells do avoid surveillance and subsequent destruction by immune-competent cells and thus continue to proliferate, until they give rise to the various forms of malignancies. The mechanisms by which cancer cells elude immunological surveillance may be explained by some intrinsic characteristics of these cells and/or the patient’s condition, including an immune deficiency.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Neoplastic Disease Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma Human Immunodeficiency Virus Patient Rubella Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Santangelo
    • 1
  • Sergio Spiezia
    • 2
  • Marco Clemente
    • 1
  • Andrea Renda
    • 1
  • Arturo Genovese
    • 3
  • Giuseppe Spadaro
    • 3
  • Concetta D’Orio
    • 3
  • Gianni Marone
    • 3
  • Stefano Federico
    • 3
  • Massimo Sabbatini
    • 3
  • Eliana Rotaia
    • 3
  • Pierluca Piselli
    • 4
  • Claudia Cimaglia
    • 4
  • Diego Serraino
    • 5
  1. 1.Surgical, Anesthesiology-rianimative and Emergency Sciences DepartmentFederico II UniversityNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Unit of Screening and Follow-up for Hereditary and Familial Cancer, Department of Molecular and Clinical Endocrinology and OncologyFederico II UniversityNaplesItaly
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Medicine, Cardiovascular ed Immunologic SciencesFederico II UniversityNaplesItaly
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyINMI L. Spallanzani IRCCSRomeItaly
  5. 5.SOC Epidemiology & BiostatisticsCRO - IRCCSAviano (PN)Italy

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