Neutrophils as immune effector cells in antibody therapy in cancer

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Tumor-targeting monoclonal antibodies are available for a number of cancer cell types (over)expressing the corresponding tumor antigens. Such antibodies can limit tumor progression by different mechanisms, including direct growth inhibition and immune-mediated mechanisms, in particular complement-dependent cytotoxicity, antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). ADCC can be mediated by various types of immune cells, including neutrophils, the most abundant leukocyte in circulation. Neutrophils express a number of Fc receptors, including Fcγ- and Fcα-receptors, and can therefore kill tumor cells opsonized with either IgG or IgA antibodies. In recent years, important insights have been obtained with respect to the mechanism(s) by which neutrophils engage and kill antibody-opsonized cancer cells and these findings are reviewed here. In addition, we consider a number of additional ways in which neutrophils may affect cancer progression, in particular by regulating adaptive anti-cancer immunity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalImmunological reviews
Early online date2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • PMN
  • cancer
  • immunotherapy
  • neutrophils
  • trogocytosis
  • trogoptosis

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