Immunosurveillance and immunotherapy of tumors by innate immune cells

Curr Opin Immunol. 2016 Feb;38:52-8. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2015.11.001. Epub 2015 Dec 11.


Increasing evidence supports a role for innate immune effector cells in tumor surveillance. Natural killer (NK) cells and myeloid cells represent the two main subsets of innate immune cells possessing efficient but quite different tumor suppressive abilities. Here, we describe the germline-encoded NK cell receptors that play a role in suppressing tumor development and describe briefly the cellular pathways leading to the upregulation of their ligands in tumor cells. We also describe mechanisms underlying the elimination of tumor cells by macrophages and a recently characterized mechanism dedicated to sensing cytosolic DNA that is implicated in antitumor immune responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / genetics
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • DNA, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Immunologic Surveillance
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / pathology
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Receptors, Natural Killer Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Natural Killer Cell / immunology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • CD226 antigen
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Receptors, Natural Killer Cell