Review of current concepts on tumor-associated neutrophils

by SciComm

Figure: © Mye-InfoBank 2022/Immunological Reviews, First published: 11 December 2022, DOI: (10.1111/imr.13176)

Research on tumor-associated neutrophils (TAN) currently surges because of the well-documented strong clinical relevance of tumor-infiltrating neutrophils. This relevance is illustrated by strong correlations between high frequencies of intratumoral neutrophils and poor outcome in the majority of human cancers. Recent high-dimensional analysis of murine neutrophils provides evidence for unexpected plasticity of neutrophils in murine models of cancer and other inflammatory non-malignant diseases. New analysis tools enable deeper insight into the process of neutrophil differentiation and maturation. These technological and scientific developments led to the description of an ever-increasing number of distinct transcriptional states and associated phenotypes in murine models of disease and more recently also in humans. At present, functional validation of these different transcriptional states and potential phenotypes in cancer is lacking. Current functional concepts on neutrophils in cancer rely mainly on the myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) concept and the dichotomous and simple N1–N2 paradigm. In this manuscript, we review the historic development of those concepts, critically evaluate these concepts against the background of our own work and provide suggestions for a refinement of current concepts in order to facilitate the transition of TAN research from experimental insight to clinical translation.


Antuamwine, BB, Bosnjakovic, R, Hofmann-Vega, F, Wang, X, Theodosiou T, Iliopoulos, I, Brandau, S. N1 versus N2 and PMN-MDSC: A critical appraisal of current concepts on tumor-associated neutrophils and new directions for human oncology. Immunol Rev. 2022; 00: 1- 30. doi:10.1111/imr.13176

Go back