Immune responses in the thyroid cancer microenvironment: making immunotherapy a possible mission

  1. Byram W Bridle
  1. Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence should be addressed to B W Bridle; Email: bbridle{at}
  1. Figure 1

    Predicted hormonal effects on the immune system of patients with thyroid cancers. Several immunological effects of hyper- and hypothyroidism have been defined in non-cancer-related scenarios. Similarly, thyroid gland-related hormones have known immunomodulatory functions. Although never directly assessed, these findings can be extrapolated to speculate on what might happen to the immune system of patients with thyroid cancers. Some patients experience hyperthyroidism concurrently with a growing tumour (Box 1). Hypothyroidism induced by partial or total thyroidectomy, or with concurrent Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) (Box 2), can be followed by a unique hormone profile following administration of thyroxine (T4) to suppress thyroid-stimulating hormone in an effort to reduce the risk of disease recurrence (Box 3). NK, natural killer cell; PMN, polymorphonuclear cell; ROS, reactive oxygen species.

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