Activities of stromal and immune cells in HPV-related cancers

Marconi Rego Barros, Cristiane Moutinho Lagos De Melo, Maria Luiza Carneiro Moura Gonçalves Rego Barros, Rita De Cássia Pereira De Lima, Antonio Carlos De Freitas, Aldo Venuti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The immune system is composed of immune as well as non-immune cells. As this system is a well-established component of human papillomavirus- (HPV)-related carcinogenesis, high risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) prevents its routes and mechanisms in order to cause the persistence of infection. Among these mechanisms are those originated from stromal cells, which include the cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), the myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and the host infected cells themselves, i.e. the keratinocytes. These types of cells play central role since they modulate immune cells activities to create a prosperous milieu for cancer development, and the knowledge how such interactions occur are essential for prognostic assessment and development of preventive and therapeutic approaches. Nevertheless, the precise mechanisms are not completely understood, and this lack of knowledge precluded the development of entirely efficient immunotherapeutic strategies for HPV-associated tumors. As a result, an intense work for attaining how host immune response works, and developing of effective therapies has been applied in the last decade. Based on this, this review aims to discuss the major mechanisms of immune and non-immune cells modulated by hrHPV and the potential and existing immunotherapies involving such mechanisms in HPV-related cancers. It is noticed that the combination of immunotherapies has been demonstrated to be essential for obtaining better results, especially because the possibility of increasing the modulating capacity of the HPV-tumor microenvironment has been shown to be central in strengthening the host immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 5 2018


  • Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs)
  • HPV-related cancer
  • Immune evasion
  • Immunotherapy
  • Innate immune response
  • Macrophages
  • Myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC)
  • Natural killer cells
  • Neutrophils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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