More than 90% of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) occurs in patients with cirrhosis, of which hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus are the leading causes, while the tumor less frequently arises in autoimmune liver diseases. Advances in understanding tumor immunity have led to a major shift in the treatment of HCC, with the emergence of immunotherapy where therapeutic agents are used to target immune cells rather than cancer cells. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are the most abundant suppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment and their presence has been correlated with tumor progression, invasiveness, as well as metastasis. Tregs are characterized by the expression of the transcription factor Foxp3 and various mechanisms ranging from cell-to-cell contact to secretion of inhibitory molecules have been implicated in their function. Notably, Tregs amply express checkpoint molecules such as cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 and programmed cell-death 1 receptor and therefore represent a direct target of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) immunotherapy. Taking into consideration the critical role of Tregs in maintenance of immune homeostasis as well as avoidance of autoimmunity, it is plausible that targeting of Tregs by ICI immunotherapy results in the development of immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Since the use of ICI becomes common in oncology, with an increasing number of new ICI currently under clinical trials for cancer treatment, the occurrence of irAEs is expected to dramatically rise. Herein, we review the current literature focusing on the role of Tregs in HCC evolution taking into account their opposite etiological function in viral and autoimmune chronic liver disease, and we discuss their involvement in irAEs due to the new immunotherapies.

Hepatocellular carcinoma in viral and autoimmune liver diseases: Role of CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in the immune microenvironment

Granito A.
;
Muratori L.;Lalanne C.;Quarneti C.;Ferri S.;Lenzi M.;Muratori P.
2021

Abstract

More than 90% of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) occurs in patients with cirrhosis, of which hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus are the leading causes, while the tumor less frequently arises in autoimmune liver diseases. Advances in understanding tumor immunity have led to a major shift in the treatment of HCC, with the emergence of immunotherapy where therapeutic agents are used to target immune cells rather than cancer cells. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are the most abundant suppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment and their presence has been correlated with tumor progression, invasiveness, as well as metastasis. Tregs are characterized by the expression of the transcription factor Foxp3 and various mechanisms ranging from cell-to-cell contact to secretion of inhibitory molecules have been implicated in their function. Notably, Tregs amply express checkpoint molecules such as cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 and programmed cell-death 1 receptor and therefore represent a direct target of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) immunotherapy. Taking into consideration the critical role of Tregs in maintenance of immune homeostasis as well as avoidance of autoimmunity, it is plausible that targeting of Tregs by ICI immunotherapy results in the development of immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Since the use of ICI becomes common in oncology, with an increasing number of new ICI currently under clinical trials for cancer treatment, the occurrence of irAEs is expected to dramatically rise. Herein, we review the current literature focusing on the role of Tregs in HCC evolution taking into account their opposite etiological function in viral and autoimmune chronic liver disease, and we discuss their involvement in irAEs due to the new immunotherapies.
Granito A.; Muratori L.; Lalanne C.; Quarneti C.; Ferri S.; Guidi M.; Lenzi M.; Muratori P.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/853904
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