STAT3: a target to enhance antitumor immune response

Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2011;344:41-59. doi: 10.1007/82_2010_51.


Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) has emerged as a critical regulator for tumor-associated inflammation. Activation of Stat3 negatively regulates the Th1-type immune response and promotes expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and regulatory T-cell functions in the tumor microenvironment. Mounting evidence suggests that Stat3 and related pathways may serve as a target for changing the tumor immunologic microenvironment to benefit cancer immunotherapies. Many recent studies support the use of certain tyrosine kinase inhibitors, through inhibition of Stat3, in decreasing immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment. Other potential therapeutic avenues include the use of targeted delivery of Stat3 siRNA into immune cells. Here, we describe the role of Stat3 in regulating the immunologic properties of tumors as a background for Stat3-based therapeutic interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Th1 Cells / immunology


  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor