Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells: Facilitators of Cancer and Obesity-Induced Cancer

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Citation of Original Publication

Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells: Facilitators of Cancer and Obesity-Induced Cancer, Annu. Rev. Cancer Biol. 2021. 5:1.1–1.22, DOI:


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Immature myeloid cells at varied stages of differentiation, known as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), are present in virtually all cancer patients. MDSC are profoundly immune-suppressive cells that impair adaptive and innate antitumor immunity and promote tumor progression through nonimmune mechanisms. Their widespread presence combined with their multitude of protumor activities make MDSC a major obstacle to cancer immunotherapies. MDSC are derived from progenitor cells in the bone marrow and traffic through the blood to infiltrate solid tumors. Their accumulation and suppressive potency are driven by multiple tumor- and host-secreted proinflammatory factors and adrenergic signals that act via diverse but sometimes overlapping transcriptional pathways. MDSC also accumulate in response to the chronic inflammation and lipid deposition characteristic of obesity and contribute to the more rapid progression of cancers in obese individuals. This article summarizes the key aspects of tumor-induced MDSC with a focus on recent progress in the MDSC field.