How do macrophages affect immunotherapeutic targeting in pediatric oncology?

Updated: Mar 20, 2018
  • Author: Crystal L Mackall, MD; Chief Editor: Jennifer Reikes Willert, MD  more...
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To further the complexity, macrophage differentiation has been characterized as proinflammatory (the M1 variety) and anti-inflammatory (the M2 variety). Tumor-associated macrophages primarily appear to consist of the M2 variety and are known to localize into hypoxic regions of tumors and to secrete various immunosuppressive cytokines. M2 macrophages also promote tumor progression by facilitating angiogenesis and invasion. [31]

In many animal models, macrophage depletion actually results in diminished tumor cell survival, increased tumor rejection, or both. Notably, pediatric tumors show a predominance of macrophage infiltration, suggesting that the immunosuppressive macrophage may have particular importance in pediatric solid tumors. [32]

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