T Cell Mulfunction in the Tumor Environment

  • Eitan YefenofEmail author


The cancer microenvironment may be envisaged as a battlefield of a fight between the host’s immune system and the tumor. An army of T lymphocytes, which are trained to combat bacterial and viral infections, is mobilized to attack the tumor, but most of the times succumbs to its powers and lose the war. A major reason for this failure is the unique composition of the cancer microenvironment, which is shaped by the tumor in favor of its progression. The immunosuppressive environment of the tumor makes it a hard place for T cells to exert their otherwise powerful effector functions. The study of the cancer microenvironment yields important insights into the nature of the tumor protective shields surrounding the tumor. Recent studies bring new prospects for intervention therapies based on recruitment and activation of T cells at the cancer microenvironment.


T cells Cancer Tumor microenvironment Immunosuppression Cytotoxic lymphocytes Regulatory T cells 



The author would like to acknowledge support from Concern Foundation, Los Angeles, the German-Israel Foundation (GIF) and the Jewish Founders Network.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer ResearchThe Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical SchoolJerusalemIsrael

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