Funded by 2014 Dick Vitale Gala in Memory of Eddie Livingston
Interaction of immune system with tumor is a complex and dynamic process, which dictates tumour initiation, progression and responses to therapy. Mounting evidence indicates that strengthening the amplitude and quality of T cell-mediated adaptive response is one of the most promising approaches to enhance therapeutic anti-tumor immunity. Functional and effective immune response requires a metabolic rewiring of immune cells to meet their energetic and anabolic demands. As such, tumor microenvironment represents a dramatic example of metabolic derangement, where the highly metabolic demanding tumor cells may compromise the function of some immune cells by competing nutrients (a form of intercellular competition), meanwhile may support the function of other immune cells by forming a metabolic symbiosis (a form of intercellular collaboration). Here, we propose to decipher the metabolic communications between tumor cells and immune system and understand how such communications impact on anti-tumor immunity.