Reverse immunoediting: When immunity is edited by antigen

Anna Merlo, Silvia Dalla Santa, Riccardo Dolcetti, Paola Zanovello, Antonio Rosato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immune selective pressure occurring during cancer immunoediting shapes tumor features revealed at clinical presentation. However, in the "Escape" phase, the tumor itself has the chance to influence the immunological response. Therefore, the capacity of the immune response to sculpt the tumor characteristics is only one side of the coin and even the opposite is likely true, i.e. that an antigen can shape the immune response in a sort of "reverse immunoediting".This reciprocal modeling probably occurs continuously, whenever the immune system encounters a tumor/foreign antigen, and can be operative in the pathogen/immune system interplay, thus possibly permeating the protective immunity as a whole. In line with this view, the characterization of a T cell response as well as the design of both active and passive immunotherapy strategies should also take into account all Ag features (type, load and presentation).Overall, we suggest that the "reverse immunoediting" hypothesis could help to dissect the complex interplay between antigens and the immune repertoire, and to improve the outcome of immunotherapeutic approaches, where T cell responses are manipulated and reprogrammed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalImmunology Letters
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Antigen
  • Cancer
  • Immunodominance
  • Immunoediting
  • Immunotherapy
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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