Chemokines: agents for the immunotherapy of cancer?

Nat Rev Immunol. 2002 Mar;2(3):175-84. doi: 10.1038/nri748.


Chemokines, a superfamily of small cytokine-like molecules, regulate leukocyte transport in the body. In recent years, we have witnessed the transition of immunotherapeutic strategies from the laboratory to the bedside. Here, we review the role of chemokines in tumour biology and the development of the host's anti-tumour defence. We summarize the current knowledge of chemokine-receptor expression by relevant cellular components of the immune system and the role of their ligands in the organization of the antitumour immune response. Finally, we discuss recent findings which indicate that chemokines have therapeutic potential as adjuvants or treatments in antitumour immunotherapy, as well as remaining questions and perspectives for translating experimental evidence into clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokines / physiology
  • Chemokines / therapeutic use*
  • Cytokines / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines