Jeremy Meier, MD, fellow in the division of hematology, Benjamin G. Vincent, MD, assistant professor in hematology, and Jonathan S. Serody, MD, chief of the division of hematology, are authors of the review “B Cell Function in the Tumor Microenvironment,” soon to be published in the Annual Review of Immunology. First author is Stephanie M. Downs-Canner, MD, assistant professor in the department of surgery’s division of surgical oncology. Following is the abstract.
The tumor microenvironment (TME) is a heterogeneous, complex organization composed of tumor, stroma, and endothelial cells that is characterized by cross talk between tumor and innate and adaptive immune cells. Over the last decade, it has become increasingly clear that the immune cells in the TME play a critical role in controlling or promoting tumor growth. The function of T lymphocytes in this process has been well characterized. On the other hand, the function of B lymphocytes is less clear, although recent data from our group and others have strongly indicated a critical role for B cells in antitumor immunity. There are, however, a multitude of populations of B cells found within the TME, ranging from naive B cells all the way to terminally differentiated plasma cells and memory B cells. Here, we characterize the role of B cells in the TME in both animal models and patients, with an emphasis on dissecting how B cell heterogeneity contributes to the immune response to cancer.