Cancer immunology and immunotherapy are driving forces of research and development in oncology, mostly focusing on CD8+ T cells and the tumor microenvironment. Recent progress highlights the importance of CD4+ T cells, corresponding to the long-known fact that CD4+ T cells are central players and coordinators of innate and antigen-specific immune responses. Moreover, they have now been recognized as anti-tumor effector cells in their own right. Here we review the current status of CD4+ T cells in cancer, which hold great promise for improving knowledge and therapies in cancer.
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We are grateful to our colleagues for their dedicated collaboration and support. We apologize for not mentioning and citing numerous interesting studies due to space limitations. D.E.S. is supported by the Cancer Research Institute (USA), Ludwig Cancer Research (USA), the Wilhelm Sander Foundation (Germany) and grants from Swiss Cancer Research (3971-08-2016, 5246-02-2021) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (310030_179459). O.C. is supported by Cancer Research Switzerland (KFS-4371-02-2018, KFS-5292-02-2021), the CRPP ImmunoCure of the University of Zürich and HMZ ImmunoTargET of the University of Zürich. C.M. is supported by Cancer Research Switzerland (KFS-4962-02-2020), the Sobek Foundation, the Swiss Vaccine Research Institute, the Swiss MS Society (2021-09), Roche, Novartis, the Vontobel Foundation and the Swiss National Science Foundation (310030_204470/1, 310030L_197952/1 and CRSII5_180323).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Speiser, D.E., Chijioke, O., Schaeuble, K. et al. CD4+ T cells in cancer. Nat Cancer 4, 317–329 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43018-023-00521-2
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