A palette of cytokines to measure anti-tumor efficacy of t cell-based therapeutics

Prathyaya Ramesh, Rohan Shivde, Dinesh Jaishankar, Diana Saleiro, I. Caroline Le Poole*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Cytokines are key molecules within the tumor microenvironment (TME) that can be used as biomarkers to predict the magnitude of anti-tumor immune responses. During immune monitoring, it has been customary to predict outcomes based on the abundance of a single cytokine, in particular IFN-γ or TGF-β, as a readout of ongoing anti-cancer immunity. However, individual cytokines within the TME can exhibit dual opposing roles. For example, both IFN-γ and TGF-β have been associated with pro-and anti-tumor functions. Moreover, cytokines originating from different cellular sources influence the crosstalk between CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, while the array of cytokines expressed by T cells is also instrumental in defining the mechanisms of action and efficacy of treatments. Thus, it becomes increasingly clear that a reliable readout of ongoing immunity within the TME will have to include more than the measurement of a single cytokine. This review focuses on defining a panel of cytokines that could help to reliably predict and analyze the outcomes of T cell-based anti-tumor therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number821
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Cytokines
  • Effector function
  • Immune monitoring
  • Immunotherapy
  • Polyfunctionality
  • T cell
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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