Metabolic regulation of the cancer-immunity cycle

Somarribas Patterson LF, Vardhana SA.

Trends Immunol. 2021 Nov;42(11):975-993.


The cancer-immunity cycle (CIC) comprises a series of events that are required for immune-mediated control of tumor growth. Interruption of one or more steps of the CIC enables tumors to evade immunosurveillance. However, attempts to restore antitumor immunity by reactivating the CIC have had limited success thus far. Recently, numerous studies have implicated metabolic reprogramming of tumor and immune cells within the tumor microenvironment (TME) as key contributors to immune evasion. In this opinion, we propose that alterations in cellular metabolism during tumorigenesis promote both initiation and disruption of the CIC. We also provide a rationale for metabolically targeting the TME, which may assist in improving tumor responsiveness to chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-transduced T cells or immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapies.