Front. Oncol., 06 May 2013 |

Monitoring regulatory immune responses in tumor immunotherapy clinical trials

  • Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI, USA

While immune monitoring of tumor immunotherapy often focuses on the generation of productive Th1-type inflammatory immune responses, the importance of regulatory immune responses is often overlooked, despite the well-documented effects of regulatory immune responses in suppressing anti-tumor immunity. In a variety of malignancies, the frequency of regulatory cell populations has been shown to correlate with disease progression and a poor prognosis, further emphasizing the importance of characterizing the effects of immunotherapy on these populations. This review focuses on the role of suppressive immune populations (regulatory T cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and tumor-associated macrophages) in inhibiting anti-tumor immunity, how these populations have been used in the immune monitoring of clinical trials, the prognostic value of these responses, and how the monitoring of these regulatory responses can be improved in the future.

Keywords: regulatory T cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, immune monitoring, tolerance, suppression, predictors of response

Citation: Olson BM and McNeel DG (2013) Monitoring regulatory immune responses in tumor immunotherapy clinical trials. Front. Oncol. 3:109. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2013.00109

Received: 28 February 2013; Accepted: 21 April 2013;
Published online: 06 May 2013.

Edited by:

James L. Gulley, National Cancer Institute, USA

Reviewed by:

Lokesh Jain, Food and Drug Administration, USA
Jacalyn Rosenblatt, Harvard Medical School, USA

Copyright: © 2013 Olson and McNeel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Douglas G. McNeel, Department of Medicine, 7007 Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research, University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705, USA. e-mail: