Research Topics / Tumor immunology
Tumors develop when control of cell cycle, apoptosis or DNA repair is lost leading to abberant cell division and tumor growth. The immune system has the ability to recognize abnormal cells and eliminate them, a process called immunosurveillance. For this purpose antigen presenting cells, such as dendritic cells,  have to incorporate tumor antigen and present it to T cells in lymphoid tissue. As a result T cells become activated  and develop into effector cells which migrate to the periphery and kill tumor cells. Other immune cells such as natural killer cells are also involved in eradicating cancer cells. The tumors are capable of evading these immune responses by many escape mechanisms and immunosuppression. Thus understanding the interaction of tumor and immune cells is mandatory to develop novel efficient immunotherapies which are promosing alternatives to chemo/radiotherapy.
Tumor immunology research in Innsbruck: Cancer is one of the main research focuses at the Medical University of Innsbruck. With several groups working on different aspects of tumor immunology, this topic is central in cancer research in Innsbruck. The biology of dendritic cells as well as T cells and NK cells are studied in context of tumor development, tumor immunity and tumor escape. Various transplantable and spontaneous mouse tumor models for skin and  breast cancer as well as lymphoma are used to understand tumor immunity within the MCBO consortium.

PhD Training in MCBO

To the curriculum of MCBO doctoral program
the members of the tumor immunology groups
contribute two courses on immunological methods
and a lecture on tumor immunology.