We hope that this book contributes to improve our approach to cancer drug discovery and, ultimately, to find new, more efficacious and better tolerated drugs for cancer patients. It provides an overview of diverse approaches ranging from drug discovery to cellular therapy. Although this change in paradigm has been useful, its entry into the clinical arena was associates with unforeseen problems including the emergence of resistance, unexpected side effects and failures. Time is therefore ripe for a critical cultural reflection on the state of the art, prospects and limitations. Ultimately, is targeted therapy in cancer a myth or a reality?
The last decades were characterized by substantial progress in the understanding of the role of the immune system in tumor progression. Researchers have learned how to manipulate the immune system to generate tumor specific immune response, which raises high expectations for immunotherapy to provide breakthroughs in cancer treatment. It is increasingly clear that tumor-induced abnormalities in the immune system not only hampers natural tumor immune surveillance, but also limits the effect of cancer immunotherapy. Therefore, it is critically important to understand the mechanisms of tumor-induced immune suppression to make any progress in the field and this monograph provides these important insights.