Metabolic Modulation of Immunity: A New Concept in Cancer Immunotherapy

Luana Guerra, Lynn Bonetti, Dirk Brenner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Immunotherapy shifted the paradigm of cancer treatment. The clinical approval of immune checkpoint blockade and adoptive cell transfer led to considerable success in several tumor types. However, for a significant number of patients, these therapies have proven ineffective. Growing evidence shows that the metabolic requirements of immune cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME) greatly influence the success of immunotherapy. It is well established that the TME influences energy consumption and metabolic reprogramming of immune cells, often inducing them to become tolerogenic and inefficient in cancer cell eradication. Increasing nutrient availability using pharmacological modulators of metabolism or antibodies targeting specific immune receptors are strategies that support energetic rewiring of immune cells and boost their anti-tumor capacity. In this review, we describe the metabolic features of the diverse immune cell types in the context of the TME and discuss how these immunomodulatory strategies could synergize with immunotherapy to circumvent its current limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107848
JournalCell Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2020


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