Lymphocytes spanning the entire innate-adaptive spectrum can stably reside in tissues and constitute an integral component of the local defense network against immunological challenges. In tight interactions with the epithelium and endothelium, tissue-resident lymphocytes sense antigens and alarmins elicited by infectious microbes and abiotic stresses at barrier sites and mount effector responses to restore tissue homeostasis. Of note, such a host cell–directed immune defense system has been recently demonstrated to surveil epithelial cell transformation and carcinoma development, as well as cancer cell metastasis, at selected distant organs and thus represents a primordial cancer immune defense module. Here we review how distinct lineages of tissue-resident innate lymphoid cells, innate-like T cells, and adaptive T cells participate in a form of multilayered cancer immunity in murine models and patients, and how their convergent effector programs may be targeted through both shared and private regulatory pathways for cancer immunotherapy.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 42 is April 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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