Open Access

Tertiary lymphoid structure and B‑cell‑related pathways: A potential target in tumor immunotherapy (Review)

  • Authors:
    • Meng Qin
    • Ying Jin
    • Ling-Ya Pan
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: October 18, 2021     https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2021.13097
  • Article Number: 836
  • Copyright: © Qin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Abstract

The tertiary lymphoid structure (TLS), also referred to as the ectopic lymphoid structure, has recently become a focus of attention. The TLS consists of T‑cell and B‑cell‑rich regions, as well as plasma cells, follicular helper T cells, follicular dendritic cells (FDCs), germinal centers (GCs) and high endothelial venules. TLSs can be divided into different subtypes and mature stages according to the density of FDCs and GCs. The TLS serves as an effective site in which an antitumor inflammatory response is generated through infiltrating immune cells. B‑cell‑related pathways, known as the CXC chemokine ligand 13/CXC chemokine receptor type 5 axis and the CC chemokine ligand (CCL)19/CCL21/CC‑chemokine receptor 7 axis, play a key role in the generation and formation of TLSs. The aim of the present review was to systematically summarize updated research progress on the formation, subtypes, evaluation and B‑cell‑related pathways of TLSs. Furthermore, researchers have previously reported that TLSs are present in several types of solid cancers and that they are associated with survival outcomes. Therefore, studies on TLS in breast, lung, colorectal and ovarian cancers and melanoma were summarized and compared. The TLS and B‑cell‑related pathways require further investigation as important immune signals and promising new immunotherapy targets in the era of T‑cell therapy revolution.
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