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Cancer Immunotherapy: The Role Regulatory T Cells Play and What Can be Done to Overcome their Inhibitory Effects

[ Vol. 9 , Issue. 6 ]


Ulf Petrausch, Christian H. Poehlein, Shawn M. Jensen, Chris Twitty, James A. Thompson, Ilka Assmann, Sachin Puri, Michael G. LaCelle, Tarsem Moudgil, Levi Maston, Kevin Friedman, Sarah Church, Elisa Cardenas, Daniel P. Haley, Edwin B. Walker, Emmanuel Akporiaye, Andrew D. Weinberg, Sidney Rosenheim, Todd S. Crocenzi, Hong-Ming Hu, Brendan D. Curti, Walter J. Urba and Bernard A. Fox   Pages 673 - 682 ( 10 )


Since multiple lines of experimental and clinical data clearly identified regulatory T cells as an integral part of the immune response, these cells have become a major focus of investigation in tumor immunology. Regulatory T cells are in place to dampen ongoing immune responses and to prevent autoimmunity, but they also have profound effects in blocking therapeutic anti-tumor activity. Therefore regulatory T cells are seen as a major hurdle that must be overcome in order for cancer immunotherapy to reach its therapeutic potential. Regulatory T cells are heterogeneous with sub-populations that exhibit distinct functional features. Here we will review the individual sub-populations in regards to their mode of action and their potential impact on blocking anti-tumor immunity. Approaches to measure function and frequency of regulatory T cells in model systems and clinical trails will be discussed. Finally, we will describe possible ways to interfere with regulatory T cell-mediated immune suppression with the focus on recent pre-clinical and clinical findings.

, Cancer, Immunotherapy:, The, Role, Regulatory, T, Cells, Play, and, What, Can, be, Done, to, Overcome, their, Inhibitory, Effects


Laboratory of Molecular and Tumor Immunology, Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center, Earle. A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Portland Medical Center, 4805 NE Glisan Street, Portland, OR 97213, USA.

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