Tumor Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 2031–2039 | Cite as

Regulatory T cells in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: implication for immunotherapeutic interventions

  • Farhad Jadidi-Niaragh
  • Ghasem Ghalamfarsa
  • Mehdi Yousefi
  • Mina Hajifaraj Tabrizi
  • Fazel Shokri


Identification of regulatory T cells (Tregs) has led to breaking the dichotomy of the Th1/Th2 axis in the immunopathology of several diseases such as autoimmune diseases and cancer. Despite the presence of extensive information about immunobiology of Tregs in pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, little is known about the frequency and function of these cells in hematologic malignancies, particularly chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Recent data have demonstrated increased frequency and intact functional capacity of CD4+ Tregs in CLL patients. However, the precise role of these cells in the immunopathology of CLL is not well known. While targeting Tregs in cancer diseases seems to be an interesting immunotherapeutic approach, such therapeutic interventions in CLL might be deleterious due to suppression of the tumor-specific adaptive and innate immune responses. Thus, the precise biological and regulatory functions of all Tregs subsets should be carefully investigated before planning any immunotherapeutic interventions based on targeting of Tregs. In this communication, we review the recent data published on immunobiology of Tregs in CLL and discuss about the possibility of targeting Tregs in CLL.


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia Regulatory T cells Leukemic B cells Disease progression Hematopoietic malignancies 


Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farhad Jadidi-Niaragh
    • 1
  • Ghasem Ghalamfarsa
    • 2
  • Mehdi Yousefi
    • 3
  • Mina Hajifaraj Tabrizi
    • 4
  • Fazel Shokri
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Immunology, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Cellular and Molecular Research CenterYasuj University of Medical SciencesYasujIran
  3. 3.Department of Immunology, Faculty of MedicineTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  4. 4.Department of Medical GeneticsTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  5. 5.Monoclonal Antibody Research Center, Avicenna Research InstituteAcademic Center for Education, Culture and Research (ACECR)TehranIran

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