Immune effects of 5-fluorouracil: Ambivalence matters

Oncoimmunology. 2013 Mar 1;2(3):e23139. doi: 10.4161/onci.23139.


Cytotoxic anticancer drugs can promote antitumor immune responses. The anticancer activity of 5-fluorouracil (5FU) relies on the restoration of T-cell immunity following the elimination of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). We have recently discovered that the 5FU-driven activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in MDSCs promotes tumor angiogenesis by eliciting TH17 responses that compromise anticancer immunity. This underscores the need to combine 5-FU with NLRP3 inhibitors to prevent tumor progression.

Keywords: IL1; NLRP3; fluorouracil; inflammasome; myeloid derived suppressor cells.