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03.01.2019 | Focussed Research Review

Schwann cells shape the neuro-immune environs and control cancer progression

Zeitschrift:
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Autoren:
German V. Martyn, Galina V. Shurin, Anton A. Keskinov, Yuri L. Bunimovich, Michael R. Shurin
Wichtige Hinweise
This paper is a Focussed Research Review based on a presentation given at the Eighteenth International Conference on Progress in Vaccination against Cancer (PIVAC 18), held in Oslo, Norway, 3rd–5th October, 2018. It is part of a Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy series of PIVAC 18 papers.

Abstract

At present, significant experimental and clinical data confirm the active involvement of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) in different phases of cancer development and progression. Most of the research effort focuses on the impact of distinct neuronal types, e.g., adrenergic, cholinergic, dopaminergic, etc. in carcinogenesis, generally ignoring neuroglia. The very fact that these cells far outnumber the other cellular types may also play an important role worthy of study in this context. The most prevalent neuroglia within the PNS consists of Schwann cells (SCs). These cells play a substantial role in maintaining homeostasis within the nervous system. They possess distinct immunomodulatory, inflammatory and regenerative capacities—also, one should consider their broad distribution throughout the body; this makes them a perfect target for malignant cells during the initial stages of cancer development and the very formation of the tumor microenvironment itself. We show that SCs in the tumor milieu attract different subsets of immune regulators and augment their ability to suppress effector T cells. SCs may also up-regulate invasiveness of tumor cells and support metastatic disease. We outline the interactive potential of SCs juxtaposed with cancerous cells, referring to data from various external sources alongside data of our own.

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