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Cancer Res. 2010 Oct 15;70(20):7800-9. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-1681. Epub 2010 Oct 5.

Conditional regulatory T-cell depletion releases adaptive immunity preventing carcinogenesis and suppressing established tumor growth.

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Cancer Immunology Program, Trescowthick Laboratories, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Erratum in

  • Cancer Res. 2010 Dec 1;70(23):10014.


Foxp3 is a central control element in the development and function of regulatory T cells (Treg), and mice expressing a diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor-enhanced green fluorescent protein fusion protein under the control of the foxp3 gene locus (DEREG mice) allow conditional and efficient depletion of Foxp3(+) Treg by DT injection. Herein, we use DEREG mice and a mouse model of carcinogenesis to show that conditional and effective Treg depletion can both protect mice from carcinogenesis by innate control, yet permanently eradicate a proportion of de novo-established tumors in mice in a largely CD8(+) T-cell- and IFN-γ-dependent manner. Tumors displayed a heterogeneous response to Treg depletion, and suppression of established tumors was accompanied by an increase in the tumor-infiltrating CD8(+) T-cell/B-cell ratio. Tumor rejection occurred in the absence of overt autoimmunity, suggesting that effective transient Treg depletion strategies may be therapeutic in at least a proportion of spontaneous tumors developing in the host.

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