Eosinophils are rare blood-circulating and tissue-infiltrating immune cells studied for decades in the context of allergic diseases and parasitic infections. Eosinophils can secrete a wide array of soluble mediators and effector molecules, with potential immunoregulatory activities in the tumor microenvironment (TME). These findings imply that these cells may play a role in cancer immunity. Despite these cells were known to infiltrate tumors since many years ago, their role in TME is gaining attention only recently. In this chapter, we will review the main biological functions of eosinophils that can be relevant within the TME. We will discuss how these cells may undergo phenotypic changes acquiring pro- or antitumoricidal properties according to the surrounding stimuli. Moreover, we will analyze canonical (i.e., degranulation) and unconventional mechanisms (i.e., DNA traps, exosome secretion) employed by eosinophils in inflammatory contexts, which can be relevant for tumor immune responses. Finally, we will review the available preclinical models that could be employed for the study of the role in vivo of eosinophils in cancer.
Keywords: Angiogenesis; CD8+ T cells; Cancer; Cationic proteins; Cytotoxicity; Eosinophil; Exosomes; Extracellular Traps; Immune regulation; Lymphangiogenesis; Mast cell; Mouse models; Tumor Immunity; Tumor Microenvironment; Tumor prognostic value.