Migrating Into the Tumor: A Roadmap for T Cells

Trends Cancer. 2017 Nov;3(11):797-808. doi: 10.1016/j.trecan.2017.09.006. Epub 2017 Nov 6.


Tumors can be divided into 'hot' (T cell inflamed) or 'cold' (T cell noninflamed) according to the presence of immune cells. In this review, we discuss variables that influence T cell migration into the tumor microenvironment. Chemokines can attract T cells to the tumor site and tumor intrinsic pathways can influence the composition of local chemokines. Tumor-induced vasculature can hamper T cell migration. Other immune cells and tumor-derived molecules can block T cell proliferation and survival. It is important to better understand these mechanisms in order to target them therapeutically. Enhancing T cell infiltration may increase response rates to immunotherapy and increase survival.

Keywords: T cells; biomarkers; immune cells; immunotherapy; migration; tumor microenvironment..

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology*