Lymphoma immunotherapy: Current status

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The rationale to treat lymphomas with immunotherapy comes from long-standing evidence on their distinctive immune responsiveness. Indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas, in particular, establish key interactions with the immune microenvironment to ensure prosurvival signals and prevent antitumor immune activation. However, reports of spontaneous regressions indicate that, under certain circumstances, patients develop therapeutic antitumor immunity. Several immunotherapeutic approaches have been thus developed to boost these effects in all patients. To date, targeting CD20 on malignant B cells with the antibody rituximab has been the most clinically effective strategy. However, relapse and resistance prevent to cure approximately half of B-NHL patients, underscoring the need of more effective therapies. The recognition of B-cell receptor variable regions as B-NHL unique antigens promoted the development of specific vaccines to immunize patients against their own tumor. Despite initial promising results, this strategy has not yet demonstrated a sufficient clinical benefit to reach the regulatory approval. Several novel agents are now available to stimulate immune effector functions or counteract immunosuppressive mechanisms, such as engineered antitumor T cells, co-stimulatory receptor agonist, and immune checkpoint-blocking antibodies. Thus, multiple elements can now be exploited in more effective combinations to break the barriers for the induction of anti-lymphoma immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448
Number of pages1
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberSEP
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Adaptive immune response
  • Anticancer vaccines
  • B-cell lymphoma
  • Dendritic cells
  • Immunotherapy
  • Tumor-associated antigens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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