Autophagy-mediated regulation of macrophages and its applications for cancer

Peiwen Chen*, Matilde Cescon, Paolo Bonaldo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Autophagy is a highly conserved homeostatic pathway that plays an important role in tumor development and progression by acting on cancer cells in a cell-autonomous mechanism. However, the solid tumor is not an island, but rather an ensemble performance that includes nonmalignant stromal cells, such as macrophages. A growing body of evidence indicates that autophagy is a key component of the innate immune response. In this review, we discuss the role of autophagy in the control of macrophage production at different stages (including hematopoietic stem cell maintenance, monocyte/macrophage migration, and monocyte differentiation into macrophages) and polarization and discuss how modulating autophagy in tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) may represent a promising strategy for limiting cancer growth and progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Autophagy
  • Cancer
  • Macrophage polarization
  • Macrophage production
  • Tumor-associated macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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