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Tissue-resident memory T cells at the center of immunity to solid tumors

Nature Immunologyvolume 19pages538546 (2018) | Download Citation

Tissue-resident memory T cells provide immunological protection in peripheral tissues. Amsen et al. discuss the role of these cells in the context of anti-tumor immunity.


Immune responses in tissues are constrained by the physiological properties of the tissue involved. Tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM cells) are a recently discovered lineage of T cells specialized for life and function within tissues. Emerging evidence has shown that TRM cells have a special role in the control of solid tumors. A high frequency of TRM cells in tumors correlates with favorable disease progression in patients with cancer, and studies of mice have shown that TRM cells are necessary for optimal immunological control of solid tumors. Here we describe what defines TRM cells as a separate lineage and how these cells are generated. Furthermore, we discuss the properties that allow TRM cells to operate in normal and transformed tissues, as well as implications for the treatment of patients with cancer.

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This work was supported by an LSBR fellowship and an NWO Vidi grant to K.J.P.M.v.G. and by an NWO Veni grant to P.H.

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  1. Department of Hematopoiesis, Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    • Derk Amsen
    • , Klaas P. J. M. van Gisbergen
    • , Pleun Hombrink
    •  & Rene A. W. van Lier


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