A new paradigm for understanding immune-surveillance and immune escape in cancer is described here. Metastatic carcinomas express reduced levels of IL-33 and diminished levels of antigen processing machinery (APM), compared to syngeneic primary tumours. Complementation of IL-33 expression in metastatic tumours upregulates APM expression and functionality of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-molecules, resulting in reduced tumour growth rates and a lower frequency of circulating tumour cells. Parallel studies in humans demonstrate that low tumour expression of IL-33 is an immune biomarker associated with recurrent prostate and kidney renal clear cell carcinomas. Thus, IL-33 has a significant role in cancer immune-surveillance against primary tumours, which is lost during the metastatic transition that actuates immune escape in cancer.
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