Affiliation: N.C. Cancer Hospital, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Cytokines play a critical role in regulating host immune response toward cancer and determining the overall fate of tumorigenesis. The tumor microenvironment is dominated mainly by immune-suppressive cytokines that control effector antitumor immunity and promote survival and the proliferation of cancer cells, which ultimately leads to enhanced tumor growth. In addition to tumor cells, the heterogeneous immune cells present within the tumor milieu are the significant source of immune-suppressive cytokines. These cytokines are classified into a broad range; however, in most tumor types, the interleukin-10, transforming growth factor-β, interleukin-4, and interleukin-35 are consistently reported as immune-suppressive cytokines that help tumor growth and metastasis. The most emerging concern in cancer treatment is hijacking and restraining the activity of antitumor immune cells in the tumor niche due to a highly immune-suppressive environment. This review summarizes the role and precise functions of interleukin-10, transforming growth factor-β, interleukin-4, and interleukin-35 in modulating tumor immune contexture and its implication in developing effective immune-therapeutic approaches.