What is it about?

The immune system protects from cancer, including bladder cancer (BLCA). Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules show bladder tumor antigens to cytotoxic T cells that start killing tumor cells. Defects in this process may result in tumor ocurrence, recurrence and progression. This review presents defects in the MHC class I pathway in BLCA and discusses how to limit or counteract these defects in BLCA immunotherapy.

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Why is it important?

The occurrence and recurrence of BLCA depend on MHC class I expression. BLCA tumors positive for MHC class I may be eliminated after surgical removal due to efficient immune response, while BLCA tumors heterogenous and negative for MHC class I recur and progress. If the changes are not genetic, MHC class I levels can be recovered by various immunomodulatory agents.

Perspectives

We propose that stimulation of MHC class I antigen presentation or use of BLCA therapeutic vaccines should be combined with checkpoint inhibitors for enhanced treatment efficacy.

Malgorzata Garstka
Xi'an Jiaotong University

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This page is a summary of: Recurrent bladder cancer in aging societies: Importance of major histocompatibility complex class I antigen presentation, International Journal of Cancer, November 2020, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/ijc.33359.
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