Laser immunotherapy (LIT) has shown its efficacy against late-stage, metastatic cancers, both in pre-clinical studies and clinical pilot trials. However, the possible mechanism of LIT is still not fully understood. In our previous studies, we have shown that LIT induces tumor-specific antibodies that strongly bind to the target tumors. Tumor resistance in cured animals demonstrated long-term immunological effect of LIT. Successful transfer of adoptive immunity using spleen cells from LIT-cured animals indicated a long-term immunological memory of the host system. In clinical trials for the treatment of late-stage melanoma patients and breast cancer patients, the similar long-term, systemic effects have also been observed. To further study the immunological mechanism of LIT, immuno-histochemical analysis of patient tumor samples has performed before and after LIT treatment. Our results showed strong evidence that LIT significantly increases the infiltration of immune cells in the target tumors. Specifically, LIT appeared to drive the infiltrating immune cell populations in the direction of CD4, CD8 and CD68 T-cells. It is possible that activation and enhancement of both humeral and cellular arms of the host immune system are achievable by the treatment of LIT. These special features of LIT have contributed to the success of patient treatment. The underlying mechanism of LIT appears to be an in-situ autologous whole-cell cancer vaccination, using all components of tumors as sources of tumor antigens. Our preliminary mechanistic studies and future in-depth studies will contribute to the understanding and development of LIT as an effective modality for the treatment of late stage cancer patients who are facing severely limited options.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.