Components of the cellular and the humoral arm of the immune system are essential elements of the tumour microenvironment (TME). The TME includes tumour-associated macrophages which have served as a paradigm for the cancer-promoting inflammation. Cytokines, IL-1 in particular, and complement have emerged as important players in tumour promotion. On the other hand, myeloid cells, innate lymphoid cells and complement have the potential, if unleashed, to mediate anticancer resistance. Targeting checkpoints restraining innate immunity, macrophages and natural killer (NK) cells in particular holds promise as a therapeutic strategy.