Regulatory T cells in the treatment of disease

Amir Sharabi, Maria G. Tsokos, Ying Ding, Thomas R. Malek, David Klatzmann, George C. Tsokos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Regulatory T (Treg) cells suppress inflammation and regulate immune system activity. In patients with systemic or organ-specific autoimmune diseases or those receiving transplanted organs, Treg cells are compromised. Approaches to strengthen Treg cell function, either by expanding them ex vivo and reinfusing them or by increasing the number or capacity of existing Treg cells, have entered clinical trials. Unlike the situation in autoimmunity, in patients with cancer, Treg cells limit the antitumour immune response and promote angiogenesis and tumour growth. Their immunosuppressive function may, in part, explain the failure of many immunotherapies in cancer. Strategies to reduce the function and/or number of Treg cells specifically in tumour sites are being investigated to promote antitumour immunity and regression. Here, we describe the current progress in modulating Treg cells in autoimmune disorders, transplantation and cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-844
Number of pages22
JournalNature Reviews Drug Discovery
Issue number11
StatePublished - 30 Oct 2018


FundersFunder number
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
National Institutes of HealthR37AI49954, AI068787, AI42269, AR064350, AI085567, R01-AI131648
National Cancer InstituteR21CA195334
University of Miami


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