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Table 2 A few key research themes in cancer immunology

From: Cancer immunotherapy: are we there yet?

Theme Research question
Immune recognition of cancer What are characteristics of antigens critical for immune recognition of cancer cells? Do these antigens exist for all cancers?
Fate determination of tumor immunity Tumors are not bacteria, not viruses, and not parasites. How do differences in antigen presentation and innate immunity signals impact the ability to initiate and mediate effective anti-tumor immunity?
Mechanism of immune evasion Are immune evasion and oncogenesis closely coupled? What is the molecular definition of oncoinflammation in the tumor environment and its impact on cancer immunity?
Immunotherapy It is time to redefine the goals of conventional therapy to convert non-immunogenic signals to immunogenic ones. What is the best strategy to combine immunotherapy with radiation therapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapy? More innovative immunotherapeutic strategies are needed including novel targets (e.g., cancer stem cells), novel sources of antigens (subdominant antigens), novel adjuvants, novel cytokines and new ways to reset the immune system from tolerogenic status to immunogenic one.