The emerging impact of autophagy on the antitumor immune response

M. Hasmim, M. Xiao, E. Viry, M.Z. Noman, C. Duhem, G. Berchem, B. Janji

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy) is a cellular degradation process involved in the recycling of damaged organelles and proteins. Occurring at the basal level, autophagy participates in maintaining homeostasis in all cells. Deregulation in this process is observed in several pathologies such as cancer. Autophagy plays a dual role as tumor suppressor or tumor promoter. Such a dual role of autophagy relies on the type, the stage, and the genetic context of the tumor. In well-established tumors, autophagy operates as a mechanism maintaining the survival of tumor cells and inducing their resistance to different anticancer therapies. Emerging new data highlight the involvement of autophagy in modulating tumor cell susceptibility to immune cell-mediated killing by various overlapping mechanisms. Tumoral autophagy is also described as a regulator of immune cell infiltration into the tumor bed. These data inspired substantial attention to develop selective autophagy inhibitors that can be used as new approaches to restore tumor immune surveillance in the context of cancer immunotherapies. This chapter will recapitulate recent findings on how autophagy activation allows tumor escape from cytotoxic immune cells and regulation of intra-tumoral infiltration by immune components. We are now facing a major challenge to develop drugs selectively inhibiting the autophagic process that can be used in combination with current cancer immunotherapeutic approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAutophagy in immune response: Impact on cancer immunotherapy
EditorsSalem Chouaib
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSlovak Academic Press Ltd
Number of pages9
VolumeSensitizing Agent-Canc Resistant-Cell Mediated Immtherap, Vol.1
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-819609-0
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2020


  • Autophagy ATG genes Hypoxia Natural killer cells Immune resistance Immunotherapy


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