Revising PTEN in the Era of Immunotherapy: New Perspectives for an Old Story

Geny Piro, Carmine Carbone, Luisa Carbognin, Sara Pilotto, Chiara Ciccarese, Roberto Iacovelli, Michele Milella, Emilio Bria, Giampaolo Tortora

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Immunotherapy has emerged as the new therapeutic frontier of cancer treatment, showing enormous survival benefits in multiple tumor diseases. Although undeniable success has been observed in clinical trials, not all patients respond to treatment. Different concurrent conditions can attenuate or completely abrogate the usefulness of immunotherapy due to the activation of several escape mechanisms. Indeed, the tumor microenvironment has an almost full immunosuppressive profile, creating an obstacle to therapeutic treatment. Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) governs a plethora of cellular processes, including maintenance of genomic stability, cell survival/apoptosis, migration, and metabolism. The repertoire of PTEN functions has recently been expanded to include regulation of the tumor microenvironment and immune system, leading to a drastic reevaluation of the canonical paradigm of PTEN action with new potential implications for immunotherapy-based approaches. Understanding the implication of PTEN in cancer immunoediting and immune evasion is crucial to develop new cancer intervention strategies. Recent evidence has shown a double context-dependent role of PTEN in anticancer immunity. Here we summarize the current knowledge of PTEN's role at a crossroads between tumor and immune compartments, highlighting the most recent findings that are likely to change future clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 10 2019


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