Positive and negative functions of B lymphocytes in tumors

Meng Shen, Qian Sun, Jian Wang, Wei Pan and Xiubao Ren _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:55828-55839. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10094

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Meng Shen1,3,4, Qian Sun1,3,4, Jian Wang1,3,4, Wei Pan1,3,4 and Xiubao Ren2,3,4

1 Department of Immunology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, China

2 Department of Biotherapy, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, China

3 National Clinical Research Center of Cancer, Tianjin, China

4 Key Laboratory of Cancer Immunology and Biotherapy, Tianjin, China

Correspondence to:

Xiubao Ren, email:

Keywords: B lymphocytes, regulatory B cells, tumor-infiltrating B cells, tumor, tumor immunotherapy

Received: January 22, 2016 Accepted: June 04, 2016 Published: June 15, 2016


Accumulating evidence indicated that B lymphocytes exerted complex functions in tumor immunity. On the one hand, B lymphocytes can inhibit tumor development through antibody generation, antigen presentation, tumor tissue interaction, and direct killing. On the other hand, B lymphocytes have tumor-promoting functions. A typical type of B lymphocytes, termed regulatory B cells, is confirmed to attenuate immune response in a tumor environment. In this paper, we summarize the current understanding of B-cell functions in tumor immunology, which may shed light on potential therapeutic strategies against cancer.

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