: Established evidence demonstrates that tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells promote rather than stop-cancer progression. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are abundantly present at tumor sites, and here they support cancer proliferation and distant spreading, as well as contribute to an immune-suppressive milieu. Their pro-tumor activities hamper the response of cancer patients to conventional therapies, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and also to immunotherapies based on checkpoint inhibition. Active research frontlines of the last years have investigated novel therapeutic strategies aimed at depleting TAMs and/or at reprogramming their tumor-promoting effects, with the goal of re-establishing a favorable immunological anti-tumor response within the tumor tissue. In recent years, numerous clinical trials have included pharmacological strategies to target TAMs alone or in combination with other therapies. This review summarizes the past and current knowledge available on experimental tumor models and human clinical studies targeting TAMs for cancer treatment.
- Cell Transformation, Neoplastic/immunology
- Tumor Microenvironment/immunology