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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017, Article ID 5458178, 9 pages
Review Article

Phenotypic and Functional Properties of Tumor-Infiltrating Regulatory T Cells

Department of Life Science, Sogang University, 35 Baekbeom-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul 04107, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Gap Ryol Lee;

Received 31 October 2017; Revised 11 December 2017; Accepted 12 December 2017; Published 31 December 2017

Academic Editor: Qingdong Guan

Copyright © 2017 Gap Ryol Lee. 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.


Regulatory T (Treg) cells maintain immune homeostasis by suppressing excessive immune responses. Treg cells induce tolerance against self- and foreign antigens, thus preventing autoimmunity, allergy, graft rejection, and fetus rejection during pregnancy. However, Treg cells also infiltrate into tumors and inhibit antitumor immune responses, thus inhibiting anticancer therapy. Depleting whole Treg cell populations in the body to enhance anticancer treatments will produce deleterious autoimmune diseases. Therefore, understanding the precise nature of tumor-infiltrating Treg cells is essential for effectively targeting Treg cells in tumors. This review summarizes recent results relating to Treg cells in the tumor microenvironment, with particular emphasis on their accumulation, phenotypic, and functional properties, and targeting to enhance the efficacy of anticancer treatment.