The CD47-SIRPα pathway in cancer immune evasion and potential therapeutic implications

Curr Opin Immunol. 2012 Apr;24(2):225-32. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2012.01.010. Epub 2012 Feb 4.


Multiple lines of investigation have demonstrated that the immune system plays an important role in preventing tumor initiation and controlling tumor growth. Accordingly, many cancers have evolved diverse mechanisms to evade such monitoring. While multiple immune cell types mediate tumor surveillance, recent evidence demonstrates that macrophages, and other phagocytic cells, play a key role in regulating tumor growth through phagocytic clearance. In this review we highlight the role of tumor immune evasion through the inhibition of phagocytosis, specifically through the CD47-signal-regulatory protein-α pathway, and discuss how targeting this pathway might lead to more effective cancer immunotherapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation / immunology
  • CD47 Antigen / immunology
  • CD47 Antigen / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immune Evasion*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / immunology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • CD47 Antigen
  • Receptors, Immunologic