Our understanding of the role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in cancer is becoming increasingly complex. In addition to their eponymous role in suppressing immune responses, they directly support tumor growth, differentiation, and metastasis in a number of ways that are only now beginning to be appreciated. It is because of this increasingly complex role that these cells may become an important factor in the treatment of human cancer. In this Review, we discuss the most pertinent and controversial issues of MDSC biology and their role in promoting cancer progression and highlight how these cells may be used in the clinic, both as prognostic factors and as therapeutic targets.
Douglas Marvel, Dmitry I. Gabrilovich