Clinical evaluation of macrophages in cancer: role in treatment, modulation and challenges
The focus of immunotherapeutics has been placed firmly on anti-tumour T cell responses. Significant progress has been made in the treatment of both local and systemic malignancies, but low response rates and rising toxicities are limiting this approach. Advancements in the understanding of tumour immunology are opening up a new range of therapeutic targets, including immunosuppressive factors in the tumour microenvironment. Macrophages are a heterogeneous group of cells that have roles in innate and adaptive immunity and tissue repair, but become co-opted by tumours to support tumour growth, survival, metastasis and immunosuppression. Macrophages also support tumour resistance to conventional therapy. In preclinical models, interference with macrophage migration, macrophage depletion and macrophage re-education have all been shown to reduce tumour growth and support anti-tumour immune responses. Here we discuss the role of macrophages in prognosis and sensitivity to therapy, while examining the significant progress which has been made in modulating the behaviour of these cells in cancer patients.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00262-017-2065-0
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