The role of immune cells in the tumor microenvironment

Cancer Treat Res. 2006;130:103-24. doi: 10.1007/0-387-26283-0_5.


Interactions between tumor infiltrating leukocytes and tumor cells have been of great interest because of the possibility that immune cells either interfere with tumor progression or actively promote tumor growth. The tumor microenvironment is shaped by cells entering it, and their functions reflect the local conditions. Successive changes occurring at the tumor site during tumor progression resemble chronic inflammation. This chronic inflammatory reaction seems to be largely orchestrated by the tumor, and it seems to promote tumor survival. Molecular and cellular mechanisms linking the inflammatory reaction and cancer are emerging, and this review summarizes the current understanding of interactions between inflammatory and cancer cells in the tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular*
  • Inflammation*
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tumor Escape / immunology*