T Cell Aging in Patients with Colorectal Cancer—What Do We Know So Far?
Simple Summary This review describes the role of T cell aging in colorectal cancer development. T cells are important mediators in cancer immunity. Aging affects T cells, leading to various dysfunctions which can impede antitumor immunity. While some hallmarks of T cell aging have been observed in colorectal cancer patients, the functional role of such cells is not clear. Therefore, understanding how aged T cells influence overall patient outcome could potentially help in the pursue to develop new therapies for the elderly.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) continues to be one of the most frequently diagnosed types of cancers in the world. CRC is considered to affect mostly elderly patients, and the number of diagnosed cases increases with age. Even though general screening improves outcomes, the overall survival and recurrence-free CRC rates in aged individuals are highly dependent on their history of comorbidities. Furthermore, aging is also known to alter the immune system, and especially the adaptive immune T cells. Many studies have emphasized the importance of T cell responses to CRC. Therefore, understanding how age-related changes affect the outcome in CRC patients is crucial. This review focuses on what is so far known about age-related T cell dysfunction in elderly patients with colorectal cancer and how aged T cells can mediate its development. Last, this study describes the advances in basic animal models that have potential to be used to elucidate the role of aged T cells in CRC.