Immunogenic cell death (ICD) plays a major role in providing long lasting protective antitumor immunity by the chronic exposure of damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) in the tumor microenvironment (TME). DAMPs are essential for attracting immunogenic cells to the TME, maturation of DCs, and proper presentation of tumor antigens to the T cells so they can kill more cancer cells. Thus for the proper release of DAMPs, a controlled mechanism of cell death is necessary. Drug induced tumor cell killing occurs by apoptosis, wherein autophagy may act as a shield protecting the tumor cells and sometimes providing multi-drug resistance to chemotherapeutics. However, autophagy is required for the release of ATP as it remains one of the key DAMPs for the induction of ICD. In this review, we discuss the intricate balance between autophagy and apoptosis and the various strategies that we can apply to make these immunologically silent processes immunogenic. There are several steps of autophagy and apoptosis that can be regulated to generate an immune response. The genes involved in the processes can be regulated by drugs or inhibitors to amplify the effects of ICD and therefore serve as potential therapeutic targets.
Autophagy, Apoptosis, Immunogenic cell death, Caspase, ATP, Multi-drug resistance