Great advances have taken place in basic research and the clinical usefulness of dendritic cells (DCs). It has now been clearly established, for instance, that these cells play a crucial role in immune responses against infectious diseases and cancers. Antigen-presenting DCs are widely distributed in the body and regulate both immunity and immune tolerance. Experimental studies have provided important insights into DCs and how they can be used for treating animal models of various diseases that occur in humans. The role of these cells in pathogenesis and the treatment of human diseases is elaborately set forth in this valuable book. Researchers in the field are optimistic that DCs, already in use for treating patients with cancers, soon can be used therapeutically for patients with chronic infections, autoimmune diseases, and allergic manifestations. This volume provides a working definition of DCs and also explains the phenotypes and functions of DCs so that these can be readily understood not only by clinicians but by immunologists, researchers, and students as well.
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