Type 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells Protect against Colorectal Cancer Progression and Predict Improved Patient Survival.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Cancers, 2021, 13, (3), pp. 1-16
Issue Date:
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Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract contributes to colorectal cancer (CRC) progression. While the role of adaptive T cells in CRC is now well established, the role of innate immune cells, specifically innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), is not well understood. To define the role of ILCs in CRC we employed complementary heterotopic and chemically-induced CRC mouse models. We discovered that ILCs were abundant in CRC tumours and contributed to anti-tumour immunity. We focused on ILC2 and showed that ILC2-deficient mice developed a higher tumour burden compared with littermate wild-type controls. We generated an ILC2 gene signature and using machine learning models revealed that CRC patients with a high intratumor ILC2 gene signature had a favourable clinical prognosis. Collectively, our results highlight a critical role for ILC2 in CRC, suggesting a potential new avenue to improve clinical outcomes through ILC2-agonist based therapeutic approaches.
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