The paradox of Th17 cell functions in tumor immunity.
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Immune system acts as a host defensive mechanism protecting against attacking pathogens and transformed cells, including cancer cells. Th17 cells are a specific subset of T helper lymphocytes determined by high secretion of IL-17 and other inflammatory cytokines. Th17 cells increase tumor progression by activating angiogenesis and immunosuppressive activities. They can also mediate antitumor immune responses through recruiting immune cells into tumors, stimulating effector CD8+?T cells, or surprisingly by altering toward Th1 phenotype and producing IFN-?, so Th17 cells are supposed as a double-edged sword in cancer. A comprehensive approach to indicating the activity of Th17 cells in tumor progression could help in the planning of new therapeutic approaches specially targeting Th17 cells in cancer.