Regulatory T cells: Potential target in anticancer immunotherapy

Chi Mou Juang, Chien Fu Hung, Jiun Yih Yeh, Huann Cheng Horng, Nae Fong Twu, Ming Huei Cheng, Kuo Chang Wen, Chiou Chung Yuan, Kuan Chong Chao, T. C. Wu, Ming Shien Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The concept of regulatory T cells was first described in the early 1970s, and regulatory T cells were called suppressive T cells at that time. Studies that followed have demonstrated that these suppressive T cells negatively regulated tumor immunity and contributed to tumor growth in mice. Despite the importance of these studies, there was extensive skepticism about the existence of these cells, and the concept of suppressive T cells left the center stage of immunologic research for decades. Interleukin-2 receptor α-chain, CD25, was first demonstrated in 1995 to serve as a phenotypic marker for CD4 + regulatory cells. Henceforth, research of regulatory T cells boomed. Regulatory T cells are involved in the pathogenesis of cancer, autoimmune disease, transplantation immunology, and immune tolerance in pregnancy. Recent evidence has demonstrated that regulatory T cell-mediated immunosuppression is one of the crucial tumor immune evasion mechanisms and the main obstacle of successful cancer immunotherapy. The mechanism and the potential clinical application of regulatory T cells in cancer immunotherapy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-221
Number of pages7
JournalTaiwanese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • CD25
  • Foxp3
  • Immunotherapy
  • Regulatory T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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