Immune-mediated rejection of human cancer is a relatively rare but well-documented phenomenon. Its rate of occurrence progressively increases from the occasional observation of spontaneous regressions to the high rate of complete remissions observed in response to effective treatments. For two decades, our group has focused its interest in understanding this phenomenon by studying humans following an inductive approach. Sticking to a sequential logic, we dissected the phenomenon by studying to the best of our capability both peripheral and tumor samples and reached the conclusion that immune-mediated cancer rejection is a facet of autoimmunity where the target tissue is the cancer itself. As we are currently defining the strategy to effectively identify the mechanisms leading in individual patients to rejection of their own tumors, we considered useful to summarize the thought process that guided us to our own interpretation of the mechanisms of immune responsiveness.