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Association of microbiome organisms to Regulatory T Cell function in cancer and inflammation.

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posted on 2016-11-29, 08:18 authored by Eftychia LekkaEftychia Lekka, Christos AndronisChristos Andronis
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) serve as negative regulators of T cell activation and play a crucial role in maintaining peripheral tolerance and regulating autoimmunity. In cancer, Tregs are implicated in the control of inflammation but mainly contribute to tumor escape. This creates a great challenge for immunotherapeutic strategies which aim to enhance anti-tumor immune responses by suppressing Tregs without compromising their ability to maintain peripheral immune homeostasis. Restoration of immune homeostasis is crucial for the management of chronic inflammatory disorders and inflammation-related cancers (e.g. colorectal), whereby Tregs seem to act by down-regulating inflammation. Gut microbiome organisms have recently shown prominence as key modulators of Treg function, conferring either a pro- or an anti-carcinogenic potential, thus influencing the fate of tumor immunotherapy approaches.

Understanding the diverse role of Tregs and mapping relations with other cell types or microbiome organisms in various cancers, as well as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases is of paramount importance as there is need for novel combinatorial immunomodulatory strategies against cancer.

We used Vizit, a free visual bibliographic search and science communication tool to identify related genes, cell types and microbiome organisms that could have an impact on the role of Tregs in colorectal cancer and inflammation. 

The graph is fully interactive. It can be reached at:

and can be modified and shared, forming the basis of an open platform for science communication in the field of cancer immunotherapy.