Cancer Immunology

Cancer Immunology, or immuno-oncology, refers to the relationship between immune function and cancer. The immunological mechanisms involved in cancer growth are highly complex and provide numerous potential points for intervention with small molecules, including extracellular enzymes, receptors and intracellular signal transduction pathways.

Research Areas
Literature (4)
Pathways (1)

Although tumor associated antigens are self-antigens, they can be immunogenic as a result of being mutated or overexpressed. This enables the immune system to raise a response to a tumor. However, cancers can evade this immune response by recruiting immunosuppressive cells, including tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), regulatory T-cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts, all of which aid tumor growth. Therapeutic intervention in this system aims either to promote antitumor immune responses or to block the immunosuppressant tumor microenvironment.

A variety of proteins, known as immune checkpoint molecules, also contribute to the ability of tumors to evade the immune system. Immune checkpoint molecules, such as IDO, TDO, PD-1 and CTLA-4, are co-stimulatory or inhibitory proteins that are important in the maintenance of self-tolerance under normal physiological conditions. They are expressed by immune cells, but their expression can be dysregulated in cancers, altering the activation of T cells and/or natural killer (NK) cells and leading to antitumor immunity. Investigation of immune checkpoints should help elucidate the mechanisms by which tumors can avoid the host's immune system.

Resources for Cancer Immunology Research

Blog Post: Targeting the Immune System with Small Molecules in Cancer

Targeting the immune system has resulted in clinical successes in the treatment of cancer. Immune system signaling can be easily modulated with small molecules, and this blog post outlines common targets and the advantages of using small molecules.

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Blog Post - small molecules for immunooncology

Literature for Cancer Immunology

Tocris offers the following scientific literature for Cancer Immunology to showcase our products. We invite you to request* or download your copy today!

*Please note that Tocris will only send literature to established scientific business / institute addresses.


Cancer Research Product Guide

A collection of over 750 products for cancer research, the guide includes research tools for the study of:

  • Cancer Metabolism
  • Epigenetics in Cancer
  • Receptor Signaling
  • Cell Cycle and DNA Damage Repair
  • Angiogenesis
  • Invasion and Metastasis

Immunology Product Listing

A collection of over 190 products for immunology research, the guide includes research tools for the study of:

  • Chemokine and Cytokine Signaling
  • Chemotaxis
  • Complement System
  • Immune Cell Signaling
  • Inflammation

Kinases Product Listing

A collection of over 400 products for kinase research, the listing includes inhibitors of:

  • Receptor Tyrosine Kinases
  • Protein Kinases A, C, D and G
  • PI-3 Kinase, Akt and mTOR
  • MAPK Signaling
  • Receptor Serine/Threonine Kinases
Foundations of Immuno-oncology

Foundations of Immuno-oncology eBook

This eBook examines the complexity of the tumor microenvironment, explores innovative technologies for basic and translational research, and strategies that are advancing immunotherapy into the clinic.

Topics covered:

  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Immune Checkpoints
  • Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies
  • Small Molecules & Immuno-Oncology
  • Cell-based Therapeutics
  • Cytokines and Immunotherapy
  • Tools to Advance Your Immuno-Oncology Research

Pathways for Cancer Immunology


JAK-STAT Signaling Pathway

The JAK-STAT signaling pathway has several roles, including the control of cell proliferation and hematopoiesis. It is the main signal transduction cascade from cytokine receptors.