Immunotherapy plays a significant role in the management of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients with metastatic disease because RCC is highly resistant to both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Many reports illustrate various approaches to the treatment of RCC, such as cytokine-, antigen- or dendritic cell- (DC-) based immunotherapy, and the safety and effectiveness of immunotherapy have been highlighted by multiple clinical trials. Although antitumor immune responses and clinically significant outcomes have been achieved in these trials, the response rate is still low, and very few patients show long-term clinical improvement. Recently, the importance of immune regulation by antigen-presenting cells (APC) and regulatory T cells (Treg cells) has also been discussed. The authors outline the principles of cell-mediated tumor immunotherapy and discuss clinical trials of immunotherapy for RCC.
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