Review
. 2019 Mar;19(5).
doi: 10.1038/s41577-019-0140-9.

Metabolic interventions in the immune response to cancer

David O'Sullivan 1 David E Sanin 1 Edward J Pearce 2 Erika L Pearce 3 
Affiliations
  • PMID: 30820043
  •     36 citations

Abstract

At the centre of the therapeutic dilemma posed by cancer is the question of how to develop more effective treatments that discriminate between normal and cancerous tissues. Decades of research have shown us that universally applicable principles are rare, but two well-accepted concepts have emerged: first, that malignant transformation goes hand in hand with distinct changes in cellular metabolism; second, that the immune system is critical for tumour control and clearance. Unifying our understanding of tumour metabolism with immune cell function may prove to be a powerful approach in the development of more effective cancer therapies. Here, we explore how nutrient availability in the tumour microenvironment shapes immune responses and identify areas of intervention to modulate the metabolic constraints placed on immune cells in this setting.

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