Cancer Immunotherapies Based on Genetically Engineered Macrophages
Anticancer immunotherapies are therapeutics aimed at eliciting immune responses against tumor cells. Immunotherapies based on adoptive transfer of engineered immune cells have raised great hopes of cures because of the success of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy in treating some hematologic malignancies. In parallel, advances in detailed analyses of the microenvironment of many solid tumors using high-dimensional approaches have established the origins and abundant presence of tumor-associated macrophages. These macrophages have an anti-inflammatory phenotype and promote tumor growth through a variety of mechanisms. Attempts have been made to engineer macrophages with chimeric receptors or transgenes to counteract their protumor activities and promote their antitumor functions such as phagocytosis of cancer cells, presentation of tumor antigens, and production of inflammatory cytokines. In this review, we cover current breakthroughs in engineering myeloid cells to combat cancer as well as potential prospects for myeloid-cell treatments.