Tumors express antigens that should induce immune-mediated rejection, but spontaneous rejection of established tumors is rare. Recent work demonstrates that one reason for the lack of tumor rejection is that tumors actively defeat host immunity. This concept forces us to rethink current approaches to harnessing potent, specific host immunity to battle cancer, most of which are based on the paradigm that inducing more antitumor immune cells alone is therapeutic. However, as I discuss in this Personal Perspective, a newer paradigm predicts that reducing tumor-driven immune suppression will be clinically beneficial. CD4+CD25+ Tregs are one mechanism of tumor-driven immune evasion that provide prototypical targets for testing novel anticancer treatment strategies within the newer paradigm.
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