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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 159269, 12 pages
Review Article

Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells and Therapeutic Strategies in Cancer

Department of Surgery, Kitasato University School of Medicine, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Minami-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0374, Japan

Received 26 January 2015; Accepted 23 March 2015

Academic Editor: Analía Trevani

Copyright © 2015 Hiroshi Katoh and Masahiko Watanabe. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Development of solid cancer depends on escape from host immunosurveillance. Various types of immune cells contribute to tumor-induced immune suppression, including tumor associated macrophages, regulatory T cells, type 2 NKT cells, and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Growing body of evidences shows that MDSCs play pivotal roles among these immunosuppressive cells in multiple steps of cancer progression. MDSCs are immature myeloid cells that arise from myeloid progenitor cells and comprise a heterogeneous immune cell population. MDSCs are characterized by the ability to suppress both adaptive and innate immunities mainly through direct inhibition of the cytotoxic functions of T cells and NK cells. In clinical settings, the number of circulating MDSCs is associated with clinical stages and response to treatment in several cancers. Moreover, MDSCs are reported to contribute to chemoresistant phenotype. Collectively, targeting MDSCs could potentially provide a rationale for novel treatment strategies in cancer. This review summarizes recent understandings of MDSCs in cancer and discusses promissing clinical approaches in cancer patients.