TGF-Beta: a Master Switch in Tumor Immunity

Author(s): Margherita Gigante, Loreto Gesualdo, Elena Ranieri

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 18 , Issue 27 , 2012

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The capacity of the immune system to distinguish foreign from self-antigen, and to subsequently eliminate the threat of disease without injuring the host is crucial for survival. It also serves to defend against tumor formation and progression via a process termed cancer immunosurveillance. Innate and adaptive immune cell types and effector molecules collectively function as extrinsic tumorsuppressor mechanisms. However, tumors may escape immunesurveillance through a variety of mechanisms that create a local microenvironment that is unfavorable for effective tumor immunity. Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) has pleiotropic effects on the immune system, and is recognized as one of the most potent immunosuppressive agents in facilitating oncogenesis. The TGF-β pathway promotes cancer progression by concomitantly enhancing tumor metastases while inhibiting the protective host immunity. In this review, we discuss mechanisms through which TGF-β interferes with the development of an anti-tumor immunity and potential means through which to circumvent its activity in order to define more effective cancer immunotherapies.

Keywords: TGF-β, natural killer, dendritic cells, CD8+ T cells, Th1, Th2, Th17, treg cells, cancer, anti-tumor immunity.

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Article Details

Year: 2012
Page: [4126 - 4134]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/138161212802430378
Price: $65

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