Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells: Therapeutic Target for Gastrointestinal Cancers

Junaid Arshad, Amith Rao, Matthew L. Repp, Rohit Rao, Clinton Wu, Juanita L. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Gastrointestinal cancers represent one of the more challenging cancers to treat. Current strategies to cure and control gastrointestinal (GI) cancers like surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy have met with limited success, and research has turned towards further characterizing the tumor microenvironment to develop novel therapeutics. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) have emerged as crucial drivers of pathogenesis and progression within the tumor microenvironment in GI malignancies. Many MDSCs clinical targets have been defined in preclinical models, that potentially play an integral role in blocking recruitment and expansion, promoting MDSC differentiation into mature myeloid cells, depleting existing MDSCs, altering MDSC metabolic pathways, and directly inhibiting MDSC function. This review article analyzes the role of MDSCs in GI cancers as viable therapeutic targets for gastrointestinal malignancies and reviews the existing clinical trial landscape of recently completed and ongoing clinical studies testing novel therapeutics in GI cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2985
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • CCR5
  • CXCR2
  • IDO-1
  • MDSC
  • PDE
  • gastrointestinal cancer
  • tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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