Therapeutic reinvigoration of tumor-specific T cells has greatly improved clinical outcome in cancer. Nevertheless, many patients still do not achieve durable benefit. Recent evidence from studies in murine and human cancer suggest that intratumoral T cells display a broad spectrum of (dys-)functional states, shaped by the multifaceted suppressive signals that occur within the tumor microenvironment. Here we discuss the current understanding of T cell dysfunction in cancer, the value of novel technologies to dissect such dysfunction at the single cell level, and how our emerging understanding of T cell dysfunction may be utilized to develop personalized strategies to restore antitumor immunity.
Keywords: PD-1; T cell exhaustion; cancer; cancer immunotherapy; single cell technologies; tumor microenvironment.
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