Furthermore, the striking prognostic value of the analysis of immune infiltrates in tumors has firmly established the capacity of adaptive immunity to control tumors [2, 4]. There are at least two major hurdles to
overcome in efforts to generate vaccines to cancer: the generation of sufficiently strong and long-lasting AZD6244 manufacturer tumor-specific T-cell responses that do not destroy healthy self-tissues, and the recruitment of sufficient numbers of effector T cells into tumor sites and metastases. In order to address the first issue, one approach is to take advantage of the ability of CD4+ T helper cells to potently synergize with CD8+ T cells, promoting their activation and memory . Although much of the effort in identifying T-cell epitopes for immunization in cancer has focused on self- or modified selleck compound self-antigens
, given the issue of self-tolerance which is further compounded by the ability of tumors to generate tolerance to themselves, it is difficult to generate sufficient T-cell help via the (modified) self-antigen route. A strategy that has long been considered to overcome this obstacle is the addition of foreign (e.g. xeno) antigens into cancer vaccines to boost immunity [7, 8], and more recent studies have provided direct evidence that the beneficial effects of this procedure are through the provision of T-cell
help [9-11]. A substantial advantage of employing foreign helper determinants physically linked to Ergoloid determinants recognized by CD8+ T cells, rather than tumor-associated helper determinants, is that the tumor cannot use either downregulation of their own helper epitopes, or induction of tolerance against these foreign epitopes, as a means of escape. Interestingly, it has been theorized that MHC class II-restricted T cells are likely to be more self-tolerant than MHC class I-restricted T cells or B cells . It would seem an insurmountable task for our immune system to become tolerant of all of the various self-antigens throughout our body. The task would be made much simpler if extensive tolerance were only needed for T cells recognizing antigens presented on the limited number of cells that express MHC class II; expression of MHC class II is restricted to several hematopoietic lineages and endothelial cells while the vast majority of cells in the body, the various parenchymal tissue cells, generally lack expression. This concept is consistent with observations of a state approaching ignorance to some self or neoself antigens by CD8+ T cells and B cells [13-15], while CD4+ T cells remain robustly tolerant [9, 13].