Progress in tumor-associated macrophage (TAM)-targeted therapeutics

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Abstract

As an essential innate immune population for maintaining body homeostasis and warding off foreign pathogens, macrophages display high plasticity and perform diverse supportive functions specialized to different tissue compartments. Consequently, aberrance in macrophage functions contributes substantially to progression of several diseases including cancer, fibrosis, and diabetes. In the context of cancer, tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in tumor microenvironment (TME) typically promote cancer cell proliferation, immunosuppression, and angiogenesis in support of tumor growth and metastasis. Oftentimes, the abundance of TAMs in tumor is correlated with poor disease prognosis. Hence, significant attention has been drawn towards development of cancer immunotherapies targeting these TAMs; either depleting them from tumor, blocking their pro-tumoral functions, or restoring their immunostimulatory/tumoricidal properties. This review aims to introduce readers to various aspects in development and evaluation of TAM-targeted therapeutics in pre-clinical and clinical stages.

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