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Regulation of the programming of tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) controls tumour growth and anti-tumour immunity. We examined the role of FGF2 in that regulation. Tumours in mice genetically deficient in low-molecular weight FGF2 (FGF2LMW) regress dependent on T cells. Yet, TAMS not T cells express FGF receptors. Bone marrow derived-macrophages from Fgf2LMW-/- mice co-injected with cancer cells reduce tumour growth and express more inflammatory cytokines. FGF2 is induced in the tumour microenvironment following fractionated radiation in murine tumours consistent with clinical reports. Combination treatment of in vivo tumours with fractionated radiation and a blocking antibody to FGF2 prolongs tumour growth delay, increases long-term survival and leads to a higher iNOS+/CD206+ TAM ratio compared to irradiation alone. These studies show for the first time that FGF2 affects macrophage programming and is a critical regulator of immunity in the tumour microenvironment.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

Publication Date





Animals, Cell Line, Tumor, Fibroblast Growth Factor 2, HT29 Cells, Humans, Lectins, C-Type, Macrophage Activation, Mannose Receptor, Mannose-Binding Lectins, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Mice, Nude, Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II, Radiotherapy, Receptors, Cell Surface, Tumor Microenvironment, Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays