Targeting myeloid-derived suppressor cells for cancer immunotherapy

Yijun Liu, Guowei Wei, Wesley A. Cheng, Zhenyuan Dong, Han Sun, Vincent Y. Lee, Soung Chul Cha, D. Lynne Smith, Larry W. Kwak, Hong Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a heterogeneous population of immature myeloid cells with an immune suppressive phenotype. They represent a critical component of the immune suppressive niche described in cancer, where they support immune escape and tumor progression through direct effects on both the innate and adaptive immune responses, largely by contributing to maintenance of a high oxidative stress environment. The number of MDSCs positively correlates with protumoral activity, and often diminishes the effectiveness of immunotherapies, which is particularly problematic with the emergence of personalized medicine. Approaches targeting MDSCs showed promising results in preclinical studies and are under active investigation in clinical trials in combination with various immune checkpoint inhibitors. In this review, we discuss MDSC targets and therapeutic approaches targeting MDSC that have the aim of enhancing the existing tumor therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1181-1195
Number of pages15
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Cancer
  • Immunotherapy
  • MDSC
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • Tumor-induced immune suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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