Antimetastatic defense by CD8+ T cells

Paulino Tallón de Lara, Héctor Castañón, Michelle Sterpi, Maries van den Broek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Metastasis is an intricate process whereby tumor cells migrate from the primary tumor, survive in the circulation, seed distal organs, and proliferate to create metastatic foci. CD8+ T cells can detect and eliminate tumor cells. Research on CD8+ T cell–dependent antitumor immunity has classically focused on its role in the primary tumor. There is increasing evidence, however, that CD8+ T cells have unique antimetastatic functions in various steps of the metastatic cascade. Here, we review the mechanisms whereby CD8+ T cells control metastatic lesions. We discuss their role in each step of metastasis, metastatic dormancy, and metastatic clonal evolution as well as the consequent clinical repercussions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-157
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • CD8 T cells
  • immunoediting
  • metastasis
  • metastatic dormancy


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