Lymph node metastasis and tumor-educated immune tolerance: Potential therapeutic targets against distant metastasis

Biochem Pharmacol. 2023 Sep:215:115731. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2023.115731. Epub 2023 Aug 2.


Lymph node metastasis has been shown to positively associated with the prognosis of many cancers. However, in clinical treatment, lymphadenectomy is not always successful, suggesting that immune cells in the tumor and sentinel lymph nodes still play a pivotal role in tumor immunosuppression. Recent studies had shown that tumors can tolerate immune cells through multiple strategies, including tumor-induced macrophage reprogramming, T cells inactivation, production of B cells pathogenic antibodies and activation of regulatory T cells to promote tumor colonization, growth, and metastasis in lymph nodes. We reviewed the bidirectional effect of immune cells on anti-tumor or promotion of cancer cell metastasis during lymph node metastasis, and the mechanisms by which malignant cancer cells modify immune cells to create a more favorable environment for the growth and survival of cancer cells. Research and treatment strategies focusing on the immune system in lymph nodes and potential immune targets in lymph node metastasis were also be discussed.

Keywords: Immune defense; Lymph node metastasis; Therapeutic immune targets; Tumor immunosuppression.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Lymph Nodes*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory*