Fates of CD8+ T cells in Tumor Microenvironment

Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2018 Nov 22;17:1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.csbj.2018.11.004. eCollection 2019.


Studies have reported a positive correlation between elevated CD8+ T cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and good prognosis in cancer. However, the mechanisms linking T cell tumor-infiltration and tumor rejection are yet to be fully understood. The cells and factors of the TME facilitate tumor development in various ways. CD8+ T cell function is influenced by a number of factors, including CD8+ T cell trafficking and localization into tumor sites; as well as CD8+ T cell growth and differentiation. This review highlights recent literature as well as currently evolving concepts regarding the fates of CD8+ T cells in the TME from three different aspects CD8+ T cell trafficking, differentiation and function. A thorough understanding of factors contributing to the fates of CD8+ T cells will allow researchers to develop new strategies and improve on already existing strategies to facilitate CD8+ T cell mediated anti-tumor function, impede T cell dysfunction and modulate the TME into a less immunosuppressive TME.

Keywords: CD8+ T cell differentiation; CD8+ T cell fates; CD8+ T cell trafficking; T cell exhaustion; Tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review