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The role of dendritic cells in cancer


Danish researchers report about the vital role of CD103+ dendritic cells.

Morten Hansen and Mads Hald Andersen at the University of Copenhagen contributed with an article about the role of dendritic cells in the special issue on cancer and autoimmunity in Seminars of Immunopathology 2016.

Dendritic cells (DCs) are major players in the control of cancer by adaptive immunity and the roles of cytotoxic CD8+ T-cells and Th1 helper CD4+ T-cells are well-documented and associated with a profound prognostic impact when infiltrating human tumors. Less information is known about how these cells gain access to the tumor or how they are primed to become tumor-specific. The Danish researchers highlight recent findings within the field that demonstrate a vital role of CD103+ DCs and show that they are experts in cross-priming and the induction of anti-tumor immunity.

Besides highlighting the important role of these DCs they focused on two different mediators that impair the function of tumor-associated DCs; prostaglandin E2 and β-catenin. Both of these mediators seem to be important for the exclusion of T-cells in the tumor microenvironment and may represent key pathways to target in optimized treatment regimens against cancer.