The emerging impact of autophagy on the antitumor immune response

Meriem Hasmim, Malina Xiao, Elodie Viry, Muhammad Zaeem Noman, Caroline Duhem, Guy Berchem, Bassam 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
Subtitle of host publicationImpact on Cancer Immunotherapy
EditorsSalem Chouaib
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages9
VolumeSensitizing Agent-Canc Resistant-Cell Mediated Immtherap, Vol.1
ISBN (Electronic)9780128196090
ISBN (Print)9780128227572
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2020


  • ATG genes
  • Autophagy
  • Hypoxia
  • Immune resistance
  • Immunotherapy
  • Natural killer cells


Dive into the research topics of 'The emerging impact of autophagy on the antitumor immune response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this