The current review reveals the seven subclasses of CD4+ T helper cells, i.e. Th1, Th2, Th9, Th17, Th22, regulatory T cells and Tfh, the cytokines produced by them and their role in tumor microenvironment. Main attention was paid to IL-17 and Th17 cells. IL-17-producing cells were described, among which were Treg17 cells and Tc17 cells. The transcription factors, engaged in the activation of Th17 cell differentiation were reviewed. It was shown that Th17 cells might possess regulatory functions in tumor microenvironments that directs toward immunosuppression. The reciprocity between Treg and Th17 cells is realized when the production of a large amount of TGF-β in tumors causes Treg cell differentiation, and the addition of IL-6 shifts the differentiation of naïve T cells to Th17 cells. The main pro-tumor role of IL-17 is the promotion of tumor angiogenesis through stimulation of fibroblasts and endothelial cells. The antitumor functions of IL-17 are associated with enhancement of cytotoxic activity of tumor specific CTL cells and with angiogenesis that provide channels through which immune cells might invade tumor and promote antitumor immunity.
Gastric cancer (GC) is suitable for immunotherapy because 80% of it display microsatellite and chromosomal instability, some mutations and DNA hypermethylation. Therefore, GC is more immunogenic. The immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies, adoptive cell therapy and checkpoint inhibition are discussed. The commonly used monoclonal antibodies are Trastuzumab targeting HER2 and Bevacizumab suppressing VEGF and tumor angiogenesis. Treatment with tumor-specific T cells is called adoptive cell therapy. There is experience with the application of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and cytokine-induced killer cells (CIK). This review discusses the therapy with innate immune cells with anti-tumor activity such as dendritic cells and NK cells. The checkpoint inhibition was also reviewed. In conclusion, it could be stated that the immunotherapy of GC has the potential to provide a more favorable outcome to patients with GC, but it also have some limitations which need to be considered.