Myeloid Cells as Clinical Biomarkers for Immune Checkpoint Blockade

Elisa Peranzoni, Vincenzo Ingangi, Elena Masetto, Laura Pinton, Ilaria Marigo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Immune checkpoint inhibitors are becoming standard treatments in several cancer types, profoundly changing the prognosis of a fraction of patients. Currently, many efforts are being made to predict responders and to understand how to overcome resistance in non-responders. Given the crucial role of myeloid cells as modulators of T effector cell function in tumors, it is essential to understand their impact on the clinical outcome of immune checkpoint blockade and on the mechanisms of immune evasion. In this review we focus on the existing clinical evidence of the relation between the presence of myeloid cell subsets and the response to anti-PD(L)1 and anti-CTLA-4 treatment. We highlight how circulating and tumor-infiltrating myeloid populations can be used as predictive biomarkers for immune checkpoint inhibitors in different human cancers, both at baseline and on treatment. Moreover, we propose to follow the dynamics of myeloid cells during immunotherapy as pharmacodynamic biomarkers. Finally, we provide an overview of the current strategies tested in the clinic that use myeloid cell targeting together with immune checkpoint blockade with the aim of uncovering the most promising approaches for effective combinations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1590
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 24 2020


  • circulating biomarkers
  • immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • MDSC (myeloid-derived suppressor cell)
  • myeloid cells
  • predictive biomarkers
  • resistance to immunotherapy
  • TAM (tumor-associated macrophage)
  • tumor biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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