While immune monitoring of tumor immunotherapy often focuses on the generation of productive Th1-type inflammatory immune responses, the importance of regulatory immune responses is often overlooked, despite the well-documented effects of regulatory immune responses in suppressing anti-tumor immunity. In a variety of malignancies, the frequency of regulatory cell populations has been shown to correlate with disease progression and a poor prognosis, further emphasizing the importance of characterizing the effects of immunotherapy on these populations. This review focuses on the role of suppressive immune populations (regulatory T cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and tumor-associated macrophages) in inhibiting anti-tumor immunity, how these populations have been used in the immune monitoring of clinical trials, the prognostic value of these responses, and how the monitoring of these regulatory responses can be improved in the future.
Olson, B. M., & McNeel, D. G. (2013). Monitoring Regulatory Immune Responses in Tumor Immunotherapy Clinical Trials. Frontiers in Oncology, 3. https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2013.00109