Dendritic cells (DCs) contribute a small fraction of the tumor microenvironment but are emerging as an essential antitumor component based on their ability to foster T cell immunity and immunotherapy responses. Here, we discuss our expanding view of DC heterogeneity in human tumors, as revealed with meta-analysis of single-cell transcriptome profiling studies. We further examine tumor-infiltrating DC states that are conserved across patients, cancer types, and species and consider the fundamental and clinical relevance of these findings. Finally, we provide an outlook on research opportunities to further explore mechanisms governing tumor-infiltrating DC behavior and functions.

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