Tumor microenvironment and myeloid-derived suppressor cells

Cancer Microenviron. 2013 Aug;6(2):169-77. doi: 10.1007/s12307-012-0126-7. Epub 2012 Dec 16.


Tumor progression has been demonstrated to be supported by chronic inflammatory conditions developed in the tumor microenvironment and characterized by the long-term secretion of various inflammatory soluble factors (including cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, prostaglandins etc.) and strong leukocyte infiltration. Among leukocytes infiltrating tumors, myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) represent one of the most important players mediating immunosuppression. These cells may not only strongly inhibit an anti-tumor immune reactions mediated by T cells but also directly stimulate tumorigenesis, tumor growth and metastasis by enhancing neoangiogenesis and creating a suitable environment for the metastatic formation. This review provides an overview of interactions between MDSCs and tumor cells leading to MDSC generation, activation and migration to the tumor site, where they can strongly enhance tumor progression. Better understanding of the MDSC-tumor interplay is critical for the development of new strategies of tumor immunotherapy.