Manipulation of glucose availability to boost cancer immunotherapies

Federica Marchesi, Debora Vignali, Beatrice Manini, Alessandra Rigamonti, Paolo Monti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The orchestration of T cell responses is intimately linked to the execution of metabolic processes, both in homeostasis and disease. In cancer tissues, metabolic alterations that characterize malignant transformation profoundly affect the composition of the immune microenvironment and the accomplishment of an effective anti-tumor response. The growing understanding of the metabolic regulation of immune cell function has shed light on the possibility to manipulate metabolic pathways as a strategy to improve T cell function in cancer. Among others, glucose metabolism through the glycolytic pathway is central in shaping T cell responses and emerges as an ideal target to improve cancer immunotherapy. However, metabolic manipulation requires a deep level of control over side-effects and development of biomarkers of response. Here, we summarize the metabolic control of T cell function and focus on the implications of metabolic manipulation for the design of immunotherapeutic strategies. Integrating our understanding of T cell function and metabolism will hopefully foster the forthcoming development of more effective immunotherapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2940
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Glucose metabolism
  • Glut1
  • Immune therapies
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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