Cancer immunotherapy is a promising therapeutic approach in a variety of cancers. However, durable responses remain limited to certain patient subsets. To harness its potential, clinical insight needs to be combined with basic knowledge of cancer immunity to identify new therapeutic targets and predictors of response.

Immunotherapy is influenced by a complex set of tumour, host and environmental factors that govern the strength and timing of the anticancer response. In a January 2017 review in Nature, Chen & Mellman1 describe intrinsic and extrinsic elements that determine a tumour’s immune status, and integrate the contribution of these factors into a combined threshold for responsiveness to immunotherapy: the cancerimmune set point. Understanding the nature of cancer–immune setpoints can help to predict an individual’s response to therapy and, in time, might contribute towards personalized treatment.

Chen & Mellman’s conceptual framework offers a useful tool for the cancer immunotherapy community. The authors and Nature recognise that new factors are being discovered continually. Here, Nature turns the cancer–immune set point framework into an editable, interactive, ‘living’ figure that can be updated with additional factors and commented upon by qualified members of the community.

Nature invites and encourages you to:

  • collaborate with the cancer immunotherapy community to improve the cancer–immune set point model iteratively
  • share this site with peers
  • experiment with crowdsourcing as a mechanism to advance science

Nature is pleased to acknowledge the financial support of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. in producing this site. As always, Nature retains sole responsibility for all editorial content. Feedback to:

1Chen DS, Mellman I. Elements of cancer immunity and the cancer–immune set point. Nature 541, 321–330 (2017) doi:10.1038/nature21349