Editors' ChoiceCancer Immunology

Paving the way for intratumoral T cells

Sci. Signal.  10 Mar 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 367, pp. ec55
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aab0693

Tumors often have unusual antigens compared with the adjacent normal tissue and are surrounded by immune cells. Unfortunately, this immune surveillance is imperfect and does not always prevent the tumors from growing. In addition, tumors are often hypoxic, because their rapid growth outstrips that of their blood and oxygen supply. Hatfield et al. showed that T cells avoid going into the hypoxic areas of tumors. In mice with lung tumors having the animals breathe supplementary oxygen resulted in increased oxygen concentration throughout the body and improved the oxygenation inside the tumors, which enabled infiltration of cytotoxic T cells and extended survival of the mice.

S. M. Hatfield, J. Kjaergaard, D. Lukashev, T. H. Schreiber, B. Belikoff, R. Abbott, S. Sethumadhavan, P. Philbrook, K. Ko, R. Cannici, M. Thayer, S. Rodig, J. L. Kutok, E. K. Jackson, B. Karger, E. R. Podack, A. Ohta, M. V. Sitkovsky, Immunological mechanisms of the antitumor effects of supplemental oxygenation. Sci. Transl. Med. 7, 277ra30 (2015). [Abstract]