T cells and cancer: How metabolism shapes immunity

Barbara Molon, Bianca Calì, Antonella Viola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tumor microenvironment is characterized by a consistent reduction in oxygen and blood-borne nutrients that significantly affects the metabolism of distinct cell subsets. Immune cells populating malignant lesions need to activate alternative pathways to overcome tumor-prolonged nutrient deprivation. In particular, the metabolic switch occurring in transforming tissues dramatically impacts on tumor-infiltrating T cell biology. Remarkably, the recruitment and activation of T cell within cancers are instrumental for effective antitumor response. Therefore, T cell metabolic adaptation acts as crucial checkpoint hijacked by tumors to dampen antitumor immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberFEB
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Immune escape
  • Immunotherapy
  • Reactive nitrogen species
  • T lymphocyte activation
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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