Author: Juan F. Santibanez
Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1) is a pleiotropic cytokine with a double role in cancer through its capacity to inhibit early stages of tumors while enhancing tumor progression at late stages of tumor progression. Moreover, TGF-β1 is a potent immunosuppressive cytokine within the tumor microenvironment that allows cancer cells to escape from immune surveillance, which largely contributes to the tumor progression.
It has been established that the cancer progression is commonly associated with increased number of Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) that are a hallmark of cancer and a key mechanism of immune evasion.
MDSC represent a population of heterogeneous myeloid cells comprised of macrophages, granulocytes and dendritic cells at immature stages of development. MDSC promote tumor progression by regulating immune responses as well as tumor angiogenesis and cancer metastasis.
In this review, we present an overview of the main key functions of both TGF-β1 and MDSC in cancer and in the immune system. Furthermore, the mutual contribution between TGF-β1 and MDSC in the regulation of immune system and cancer development will be analyzed.