Anticancer immune responses can be considered a desirable form of autoimmunity that may be profoundly shaped by the microbiome. Such anticancer immune responses may occur as part of the natural immunosurveillance system as well as a result of therapeutic interventions including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immuotherapy. I will discuss evidence for the microbiome's influence on antitumor immunosurveillance, including those that are indirect and can act at a distance. I will put forward hypotheses regarding mechanisms of how these effects are implemented. These may involve cross-reactivity between microbial and tumor antigens shaping T cell repertoires and/or microbial products stimulating pattern recognition receptors that influence the type and intensity of immune responses. Understanding how the microbiome impacts natural cancer immunosurveillance as well as treatment-induced immune responses will pave the way for more effective therapies and prophylactics.
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Citation Format: Guido Kroemer. Microbiota and cancer immunosurveillance: An introduction [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Second CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; 2016 Sept 25-28; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(11 Suppl):Abstract nr IA15.
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