Objectives
  • To have a basic knowledge of the components of the immune system

  • To understand the interrelationship between the host's immune system and the tumour

  • To understand mechanisms operational in immunotherapy strategies

Awareness
  • Awareness of the difference between tumour-associated antigens and neo-antigens

  • Awareness of the role of cellular immunity in tumour killing

  • Awareness of the existence of different effector immune cells

  • Awareness of the concept of immune tolerance and immune regulation

  • Appreciation of the principles of tumour vaccines

Knowledge
  • Understanding of the difference between cellular and humoral immunity, including the different components

  • Understanding of the difference between innate and adaptive immunity, including the different components

  • Knowledge of the different classes of immunoglobulin molecules, their roles and the mechanism of class-switching

  • Understanding of the different parts of an immunoglobulin molecule (Fab/Fc portions, heavy/light chains, variable/constant domains, hypervariability region)

  • Familiarity with the mechanism of antibody-dependent cell-mediated toxicity

  • Understanding of the role of inhibitory immune checkpoint molecules, including cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4), programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1), T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin-domain containing-3 (TIM3), indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG3)

  • Understanding of the components of the T-cell receptor complex, as well as costimulatory signals necessary to activate T-cells

  • Familiarity with the difference between the two types of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) classes: MHC class 1 and MHC class 2

  • Understanding of the mechanism of tolerance to self-antigens and the locations where this takes place

  • Understanding of the role of macrophages, T-cells and natural killer (NK) cells and their subsets in the immune system, including their role in recognising self-antigens

  • Familiarity with the locally-produced cytokines which promote tumour growth and which effect the immune response

  • Understanding of the process of cancer immuno-editing

  • Familiarity with chimaeric antigen receptor (CAR)-expressing autologous T-cells

  • Familiarity with the basic mechanisms of action of tumour immunotherapeutic agents, including checkpoint inhibitors, vaccines and CAR-expressing autologous T-cells

Skills
  • Ability to recognise indications for tumour immunotherapeutic agents, including checkpoint inhibitors, vaccines and CAR-expressing autologous T-cells

  • Ability to recognise and appropriately manage adverse effects of immunotherapeutic agents

  • Ability to recognise differences in objective tumour assessments after therapy with immunomodulatory agents versus traditional cytotoxic agents