Opinion | Published:

Improving immune–vascular crosstalk for cancer immunotherapy

Nature Reviews Immunology volume 18, pages 195203 (2018) | Download Citation

Abstract

The vasculature of tumours is highly abnormal and dysfunctional. Consequently, immune effector cells have an impaired ability to penetrate solid tumours and often exhibit compromised functions. Normalization of the tumour vasculature can enhance tissue perfusion and improve immune effector cell infiltration, leading to immunotherapy potentiation. However, recent studies have demonstrated that the stimulation of immune cell functions can also help to normalize tumour vessels. In this Opinion article, we propose that the reciprocal regulation between tumour vascular normalization and immune reprogramming forms a reinforcing loop that reconditions the tumour immune microenvironment to induce durable antitumour immunity. A deeper understanding of these pathways could pave the way for identifying new biomarkers and developing more effective combination treatment strategies for patients with cancer.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grants from the National Program on Key Research Project of China (2016YFC1302404; Y.H.), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81673004, 81372245; Y.H.), the fund of the Distinguished Professors of Jiangsu Province (SR21100114), the Collaborative Innovation Center of Hematology, the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine (B.Y.S.K.), the Jorge and Leslie Bacardi fund for the study of Regenerative Medicine (B.Y.S.K.), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Grant R01 NS104315 (B.Y.S.K.), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Conquer Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award (W.J.) and the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Center Support (Core) Grant CA016672 (to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center). The authors thank C. Wogan of MD Anderson Cancer Center's Division of Radiation Oncology for editorial assistance.

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Affiliations

  1. Yuhui Huang is at the Cyrus Tang Hematology Center, Collaborative Innovation Center of Hematology, the Key Laboratory of Stem Cells and Biomedical Materials of Jiangsu Province and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, Soochow University, 199 Ren'ai Rd, Suzhou 215123, China.

    • Yuhui Huang
  2. Betty Y. S. Kim is at the Departments of Neurosurgery, Cancer Biology and Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Rd, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA.

    • Betty Y. S. Kim
  3. Charles K. Chan and Irving L. Weissman are at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford School of Medicine, 291 Campus Drive, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

    • Charles K. Chan
    •  & Irving L. Weissman
  4. Stephen M. Hahn and Wen Jiang are at the Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

    • Stephen M. Hahn
    •  & Wen Jiang

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Contributions

Y.H. and W.J. conceived the study. Y.H. and W.J. performed the literature search. Y.H., B.Y.S.K. and W.J. designed and generated the figures. All authors helped to write the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Yuhui Huang or Betty Y. S. Kim or Wen Jiang.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nri.2017.145