The first lines of defense in the human innate immune system are membrane receptors called Toll-like receptors (TLRs). This family of receptors functions as primary sensors to recognize microbial pathogens. Subsequent binding of ligands to TLRs lend to the activation of cellular signaling pathways that regulate expression of genes related to inflammation and immunity. The discovery and supporting evidence of functional and structural diversity suggests TLRs are key participants in cellular immunity and are important to various medical conditions including the tumor microenvironment. TLR heterogeneity emphasizes the role of these receptors and suggests a new opportunity to develop therapies targeting specific or multiple TLRs that may contribute to the treatment of a myriad of diseases including various cancers. In this article, we intend to focus on a number of recently issued patents related to TLRs and to propose the relevance of these patents to novel treatments for cancers.
Keywords: Toll-like receptors, cancer, innate immunity, immunology
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