Adjuvant immunotherapy for solid tumors: From promise to clinical application

Simone Mocellin, Carlo R. Rossi, Mario Lise, Francesco M. Marincola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although surgery remains the mainstay for the treatment of most solid tumors, investigators are seeking complementary therapies to eradicate microscopic disease, which causes tumor relapse even after an apparently complete surgical excision. Although adjuvant chemotherapy has achieved some significant results, the control of minimal residual disease is still a challenge for clinicians. Among novel therapeutic approaches, immunotherapy holds promise. This anticancer strategy aims at triggering a highly specific endogenous killing machine against tumor cells. Recent progress in tumor immunology has improved our understanding of host-immune system interactions. In particular, new technologies have fostered the identification of potentially immunogenic tumor antigens that can be used as suitable targets for immune effector cells. After observing immunotherapy-mediated clinical responses in patients with metastatic disease, investigators have started evaluating this anticancer modality in the adjuvant setting. Here, we review the immunological strategies so far explored in humans and report worldwide results following the clinical application of adjuvant immunotherapy for solid tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-595
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Adjuvant immunotherapy
  • Solid tumor
  • Tumor immunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Immunology
  • Oncology


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