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. 2016 Dec;2(12):747-757.
doi: 10.1016/j.trecan.2016.10.010.

B Lymphocytes and Cancer: A Love-Hate Relationship

Free PMC article

B Lymphocytes and Cancer: A Love-Hate Relationship

Grace J Yuen et al. Trends Cancer. .
Free PMC article


Figure 1
Figure 1. B cell suppression of the antitumor response
B cells can produce lymphotoxin, which induces angiogenesis and thus promotes tumor growth. Tumor-derived extracellular vesicles (tEVs) can activate B cells to produce antibodies, which can bind antigen and form immune complexes. These circulating immune complexes can activate Fcγ receptors on myeloid cells, inducing them to become myeloid-derived suppressor cells, which suppress anti-tumor CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses. A subset of B cells called regulatory B cells (Bregs) can also secrete immunoregulatory cytokines, including TGFβ, which induces CD4+ T cells to become Foxp3+ CD4+ T regulatory cells (Tregs), and IL-10, which suppresses CD4+ Th1 cells, natural killer (NK) cells, and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells.
Figure 2
Figure 2. B cells as positive mediators of the antitumor response
B cells can produce lymphotoxin, which has an additional role of promoting the formation of tertiary lymphoid organs, which is positively correlated with disease outcome and patient survival. The production of antibodies by plasma cells has many roles in contributing to the antitumor response: antitumor antibodies promote antibody- and complement-mediated killing of the tumor cells, Fc-mediated phagocytosis by macrophages, and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) by natural killer (NK) cells. Importantly, antibody-coated tumor cells can also be taken up and processed by dendritic cells, which present tumor antigens to CD4+ T cells and cross-present antigens to CD8+ T cells. If the tumor antigen contains an MHC-I epitope, anti-tumor CD8+ T cells could be activated; these effector CD8+ cytotoxic T cells will then traffic to the site of the tumor, killing the tumor cells. In some cases, B cells can also take up and process tumor antigens, which can then be presented to CD4+ T cells.

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