Presta, Donato, Zaffino, Spadea, Mancuso, Malara, Chiefari, Donato (2019) Does a polarization state exist for mast cells in cancer? Medical hypotheses 131() 109281


The data of literature are discordant about the role of mast cells in different types of neoplasms. In this paper the authors propose the hypothesis that tumor-associated mast cells may switch to different polarization states, conditioning the immunogenic capacities of the different neoplasms. Anti-inflammatory polarized mast cells should express cytokines such as interleukin-10 (IL-10) and then mast cells number should be inversely related to the intensity of inflammatory infiltrate. On the contrary, when mast cells do not express anti-inflammatory cytokines their number should be directly related to the intensity of the inflammatory infiltrate. In this paper we briefly argue around feasible approaches, based on the retrospective studies of tumor tissue samples from neoplasms considered "immunologically hot" and neoplasms considered "immunologically cold", through immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence techniques (confocal microscopy). The establishment of the actual existence of a polarization interchange of mast cells, could lead to a new vision in prognostic terms, useful to contrive new approaches in immunotherapy of tumors. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.