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The CCR7 chemokine axis is comprised of chemokine ligand 21 (CCL21) and chemokine ligand 19 (CCL19) acting on chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7). This axis plays two important but apparently opposing roles in cancer. On the one hand, this axis is significantly engaged in the trafficking of a number of effecter cells involved in mounting an immune response to a growing tumour. This suggests therapeutic strategies which involve potentiation of this axis can be used to combat the spread of cancer. On the other hand, the CCR7 axis plays a significant role in controlling the migration of tumour cells towards the lymphatic system and metastasis and can thus contribute to the expansion of cancer. This implies that therapeutic strategies which involve decreasing signaling through the CCR7 axis would have a beneficial effect in preventing dissemination of cancer. This dichotomy has partly been the reason why this axis has not yet been exploited, as other chemokine axes have, as a therapeutic target in cancer. Recent report of a crystal structure for CCR7 provides opportunities to exploit this axis in developing new cancer therapies. However, it remains unclear which of these two strategies, potentiation or antagonism of the CCR7 axis, is more appropriate for cancer therapy. This review brings together the evidence supporting both roles of the CCR7 axis in cancer and examines the future potential of each of the two different therapeutic approaches involving the CCR7 axis in cancer. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Anwar Salem, Mashael Alotaibi, Rima Mroueh, Haneen A Basheer, Kamyar Afarinkia. CCR7 as a therapeutic target in Cancer. Biochimica et biophysica acta. Reviews on cancer. 2021 Jan;1875(1):188499

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PMID: 33385485

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