Modulation of the immune response by heterogeneous monocytes and dendritic cells in lung cancer
Different subpopulations of monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs) may have a key impact on the modulation of the immune response in malignancy. In this review, we summarize the monocyte and DCs heterogeneity and their function in the context of modulating the immune response in cancer. Subgroups of monocytes may play opposing roles in cancer, depending on the tumour growth and progression as well as the type of cancer. Monocytes can have pro-tumour and anti-tumour functions and can also differentiate into monocyte-derived DCs (moDCs). MoDCs have a similar antigen presentation ability as classical DCs, including cross-priming, a process by which DCs activate CD8 T-cells by cross-presenting exogenous antigens. DCs play a critical role in generating anti-tumour CD8 T-cell immunity. DCs have plastic characteristics and show distinct phenotypes depending on their mature state and depending on the influence of the tumour microenvironment. MoDCs and other DC subsets have been attracting increased interest owing to their possible beneficial effects in cancer immunotherapy. This review also highlights key strategies deploying specific DC subpopulations in combination with other therapies to enhance the anti-tumour response and summarizes the latest ongoing and completed clinical trials using DCs in lung cancer.