Immune regulation and anti-cancer activity by lipid inflammatory mediators

Saraswoti Khadge, John Graham Sharp, Timothy R. McGuire, Geoffrey M. Thiele, Paul Black, Concetta DiRusso, Leah Cook, Lynell W. Klassen, James E. Talmadge

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Rodent and clinical studies have documented that myeloid cell infiltration of tumors is associated with poor outcomes, neutrophilia and lymphocytopenia. This contrasts with increased lymphocyte infiltration of tumors, which is correlated with improved outcomes. Lifestyle parameters, such as obesity and diets with high levels of saturated fat and/or omega (ω)-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), can influence these inflammatory parameters, including an increase in extramedullary myelopoiesis (EMM). While tumor secretion of growth factors (GFs) and chemokines regulate tumor-immune-cell crosstalk, lifestyle choices also contribute to inflammation, abnormal pathology and leukocyte infiltration of tumors. A relationship between obesity and high-fat diets (notably saturated fats in Western diets) and inflammation, tumor incidence, metastasis and poor outcomes is generally accepted. However, the mechanisms of dietary promotion of an inflammatory microenvironment and targeted drugs to inhibit the clinical sequelae are poorly understood. Thus, modifications of obesity and dietary fat may provide preventative or therapeutic approaches to control tumor-associated inflammation and disease progression. Currently, the majority of basic and clinical research does not differentiate between obesity and fatty acid consumption as mediators of inflammatory and neoplastic processes. In this review, we discuss the relationships between dietary PUFAs, inflammation and neoplasia and experimental strategies to improve our understanding of these relationships. We conclude that dietary composition, notably the ratio of ω-3 vs ω-6 PUFA regulates tumor growth and the frequency and sites of metastasis that together, impact overall survival (OS) in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-592
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Immunopharmacology
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • High fat diet
  • Immune escape
  • Infiltration
  • Inflammation
  • MDSC
  • PUFA
  • TAM
  • Tumor induction
  • Tumor progression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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