Tumour-induced immune modulation of sentinel lymph nodes

Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Sep;6(9):659-70. doi: 10.1038/nri1919.


Sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs), being the first nodes to receive lymph from a primary tumour and the preferential site of initial tumour metastases, are intensively exposed to the bioactive products of tumour cells and other associated cells. This makes them ideal for studies of the factors that determine selective tissue susceptibility to metastases. We postulate that tumour-induced immune modulation of SLNs facilitates lymph-node metastases by inhibiting the generation of tumour-specific cytotoxic T cells that are active against tumour cells of primary and metastatic melanomas. Immune modulation of the lymph nodes can be reversed by granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), a finding that has implications for the future therapy of lymph-node metastases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / immunology*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy