In the light of increasing knowledge on the regulation of the efferent and afferent branches of antitumor immunity, on tumor-induced imbalances of immune response and on tumor escape mechanisms, it seem important to review the information available on the immunomodulating effects of anticancer drugs and their possible exploitation in cancer therapeutics. The immunomodulation induced by several antitumor antibiotics is considered with particular emphasis on the effects of Doxorubicin and their therapeutic exploitation. The immunomodulating effects of anticancer drugs considered include those of cyclophosphamide and other alkylating agents, of 6-mercaptopurine and other antimetabolities, of Vinca alkaloida, Taxanes, Thalidomide, Gleevec and Difluoromethyl ornithine. The positive effects on tumor immunity are discussed with reference to their potential exploitation in the therapeutics. The effects of certain anticancer drugs on tumor antigen expression are also discussed as a mechanism by which these agents increase tumor immunogenicity with consequent advantages for therapeutic exploitation and vaccine effectiveness. The need for increased molecular and clinical studies of anticancer drugs-induced immunomodulation is emphasized.
Keywords: Cyclophosphamide, Vinca Alkaloids, Adriamycin, cell antitumor effects, immunosuppression, Difluoromethyl Ornithine
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