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Cancer Immunol Res. 2019 Mar;7(3):388-400. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-18-0494. Epub 2019 Jan 21.

Activated Eosinophils Exert Antitumorigenic Activities in Colorectal Cancer.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel.
Research Center for Digestive Tract and Disorders and Liver Diseases, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Integrated Cancer Prevention Center, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale, Arizona.
Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel.


Immunotherapies targeting T lymphocytes are revolutionizing cancer therapy but only benefit a subset of patients, especially in colorectal cancer. Thus, additional insight into the tumor microenvironment (TME) is required. Eosinophils are bone marrow-derived cells that have been largely studied in the context of allergic diseases and parasite infections. Although tumor-associated eosinophilia has been described in various solid tumors including colorectal cancer, knowledge is still missing regarding eosinophil activities and even the basic question of whether the TME promotes eosinophil recruitment without additional manipulation (e.g., immunotherapy) is unclear. Herein, we report that eosinophils are recruited into developing tumors during induction of inflammation-induced colorectal cancer and in mice with the Apcmin /+ genotype, which develop spontaneous intestinal adenomas. Using adoptive transfer and cytokine neutralization experiments, we demonstrate that the TME supported prolonged eosinophil survival independent of IL5, an eosinophil survival cytokine. Tumor-infiltrating eosinophils consisted of degranulating eosinophils and were essential for tumor rejection independently of CD8+ T cells. Transcriptome and proteomic analysis revealed an IFNγ-linked signature for intratumoral eosinophils that was different from that of macrophages. Our data establish antitumorigenic roles for eosinophils in colorectal cancer. These findings may facilitate the development of pharmacologic treatments that could unleash antitumor responses by eosinophils, especially in colorectal cancer patients displaying eosinophilia.

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