Reprogramming of tumor-associated macrophages with anticancer therapies: Radiotherapy versus chemo- and immunotherapies

Géraldine Genard, Stéphane Lucas, Carine Michiels

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Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) play a central role in tumor progression, metastasis, and recurrence after treatment. Macrophage plasticity and diversity allow their classification along a M1-M2 polarization axis. Tumor-associated macrophages usually display a M2-like phenotype, associated with pro-tumoral features whereas M1 macrophages exert antitumor functions. Targeting the reprogramming of TAMs toward M1-like macrophages would thus be an efficient way to promote tumor regression. This can be achieved through therapies including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiotherapy (RT). In this review, we first describe how chemo- and immunotherapies can target TAMs and, second, we detail how RT modifies macrophage phenotype and present the molecular pathways that may be involved. The identification of irradiation dose inducing macrophage reprogramming and of the underlying mechanisms could lead to the design of novel therapeutic strategies and improve synergy in combined treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number828
Number of pages19
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Chemotherapy
  • Nuclear factor kappa B
  • Polarization immunotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Reprogramming
  • Tumor-associated macrophages

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  • Equipment

  • Activities

    • 1 Participation in conference

    63rd annual Congress of the Radiation Research Society

    Stéphane Lucas (Poster)

    15 Oct 201718 Oct 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Student Theses

    Unravelling the effects of proton irradiation on macrophages in cancer

    Author: Genard, G., 30 May 2018

    Supervisor: Michiels, C. (Supervisor), Heuskin, A. (President), Lucas, S. (Jury), Poumay, Y. (Jury), Feron, O. (Jury) & Huber, P. E. (External person) (Jury)

    Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Sciences


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