Send to

Choose Destination
J Cell Physiol. 2015 Nov;230(11):2598-605. doi: 10.1002/jcp.25016.

Treg(s) in Cancer: Friends or Foe?

Author information

Medical Clinic 3, Oncology, Hematology and Rheumatology, University Hospital Bonn (UKB), Bonn, Germany.
Department of Hematology and Oncology, Internal Medicine 5, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.
Tyrolean Cancer Research Institute (TKFI), Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.


Immune escape is a hallmark of cancer. Regulatory T cells (Treg) have been described to maintain peripheral tolerance. The role of Treg in cancer is ambiguous, as they are central inhibitory regulators in solid tumors, whereas during inflammation-driven tumorigenesis they prevent cancer initiation by restraining inflammation. As a consequence, under conditions with chronic inflammation that may initiate malignant transformation, application rather than depletion of Treg may be helpful. In solid tumors, however, the success story of immune-activating antibodies targeting checkpoint molecules of T cell activation fuels the hope that Treg inactivation or depletion may additionally boost anti-tumor immune response. In this review we summarize important aspects on the dual role of Treg in cancer to provide a rationale for future Treg targeting attempts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center