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Front Immunol. 2018 Sep 11;9:2076. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02076. eCollection 2018.

Tumor Resident Memory T Cells: New Players in Immune Surveillance and Therapy.

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Department of Oncology, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Épalinges, Switzerland.


Tissue resident memory T cells (Trm) are a subset of memory T cells mainly described in inflammation and infection settings. Their location in peripheral tissues, such as lungs, gut, or skin, makes them the earliest T cell population to respond upon antigen recognition or under inflammatory conditions. The study of Trm cells in the field of cancer, and particularly in cancer immunotherapy, has recently gained considerable momentum. Different reports have shown that the vaccination route is critical to promote Trm generation in preclinical cancer models. Cancer vaccines administered directly at the mucosa, frequently result in enhanced Trm formation in mucosal cancers compared to vaccinations via intramuscular or subcutaneous routes. Moreover, the intratumoral presence of T cells expressing the integrin CD103 has been reported to strongly correlate with a favorable prognosis for cancer patients. In spite of recent progress, the full spectrum of Trm anti-tumoral functions still needs to be fully established, particularly in cancer patients, in different clinical contexts. In this mini-review we focus on the recent vaccination strategies aimed at generating Trm cells, as well as evidence supporting their association with patient survival in different cancer types. We believe that collectively, this information provides a strong rationale to target Trm for cancer immunotherapy.


CD103; cancer prognosis; immunotherapy; mucosal route; tissue resident memory; vaccination

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