Innate immune cells for immunotherapy of autoimmune and cancer disorders

Carolina Schäfer, Gabriel Ascui, Carolina H. Ribeiro, Mercedes López, Rafael Prados-Rosales, Pablo A. González, Susan M. Bueno, Claudia A. Riedel, Andrés Baena, Alexis M. Kalergis, Leandro J. Carreño

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Modulation of the immune system has been widely targeted for the treatment of several immune-related diseases, such as autoimmune disorders and cancer, due to its crucial role in these pathologies. Current available therapies focus mainly on symptomatic treatment and are often associated with undesirable secondary effects. For several years, remission of disease and subsequently recovery of immune homeostasis has been a major goal for immunotherapy. Most current immunotherapeutic strategies are aimed to inhibit or potentiate directly the adaptive immune response by modulating antibody production and B cell memory, as well as the effector potential and memory of T cells. Although these immunomodulatory approaches have shown some success in the clinic with promising therapeutic potential, they have some limitations related to their effectiveness in disease models and clinical trials, as well as elevated costs. In the recent years, a renewed interest has emerged on targeting innate immune cells for immunotherapy, due to their high plasticity and ability to exert a potent and extremely rapid response, which can influence the outcome of the adaptive immune response. In this review, we discuss the immunomodulatory potential of several innate immune cells, as well as they use for immunotherapy, especially in autoimmunity and cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-337
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Reviews of Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017


  • autoimmunity
  • cancer
  • dendritic cells
  • Innate immunity
  • NKT cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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