Adaptive evolution has prompted immune cells to use a wide variety of inhibitory signals, many of which are usurped by tumor cells to evade immune surveillance. Although tumor immunologists often focus on genes and proteins as mediators of immune function, here we highlight two elements from the periodic table-oxygen and potassium-that suppress the immune system in previously unappreciated ways. While both are key to the maintenance of T-cell function and tissue homeostasis, they are exploited by tumors to suppress immuno-surveillance and promote metastatic spread. We discuss the temporal and spatial roles of these elements within the tumor microenvironment and explore possible therapeutic interventions for effective and promising anticancer therapies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research