The correlations between IL-17 vs. Th17 cells and cancer patient survival: a systematic review

Oncoimmunology. 2015 Mar 6;4(2):e984547. doi: 10.4161/2162402X.2014.984547. eCollection 2015 Feb.


Both IL-17 and Th17 cells have been ascribed tumor promoting as well as tumor suppressing functions. We reviewed the literature on correlations between IL-17 versus Th17 cells and survival in human cancer, following the PRISMA guidelines. Serum, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue and peripheral blood samples were most frequently studied. High IL-17 quantities were correlated with poor prognosis, whereas high Th17 cell frequencies were correlated with improved prognosis. Since Th17 cells are a subpopulation of IL-17+ cells and had a different correlation with prognosis than total IL-17, we substantiate that a distinction should be made between Th17 and other IL-17+ cells.

Keywords: FFPE, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded; IL-17; PBMC, peripheral blood mononuclear cells; RORγ, receptor-related orphan receptor gamma; TNM, tumor node metastasis stage; Th17; cancer; survival; tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review