Tumor-associated macrophages and the related myeloid-derived suppressor cells as a paradigm of the diversity of macrophage activation

Hum Immunol. 2009 May;70(5):325-30. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2009.02.008. Epub 2009 Feb 21.


Macrophages undergo a wide spectrum of polarized activation states, and have the potential both to elicit tumor and tissue destructive reactions and to promote tumor progression (macrophage balance). In general, tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) from established tumors and the related myeloid-derived suppressor cells are diverse and have properties of M2-activated cells. As such, they help cancer progression and metastasis. Therefore, TAM are a key component of pathways connecting inflammation and cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Active / immunology
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Macrophage Activation / immunology*
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / immunology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism


  • Cytokines