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The power of cancer immune surveillance has been documented beyond doubt, and the successful exploitation of immune response to cancer has started a new era in the war against cancer. Cancer biologists have recognized immunoevasion as an emerging hallmark in addition to the six hallmarks of cancer. Besides the natural connection between the immune system and cancer development, most established environmental risk factors are now known to interfere with immune surveillance mechanisms. Genetic variations regulating immunity may also modulate cancer susceptibility, but evidence for this is currently limited. Molecular cross talk linking ?immune? and ?genomic? surveillance pathways has been characterized. It appears that immune mechanisms may contribute to the effects of common cancer risk factors. We provide an updated overview of evidence for cancer immune surveillance, cancer risk factors interfering with it, and interventions to enhance cancer immune surveillance as tools to complement ongoing vaccine development efforts for cancer immunoprevention. Although there is a lot of support for cancer immunoprevention with simple lifestyle modifications from observational studies, there is an urgent need for clinical trials to establish the effectiveness of this approach for public health benefits.

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Frontiers in Public Health





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