Weixi Shen

Cytokines, Tumour Micro-environment, Immunotherapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Wei-Xi Shen and Huiyi Feng


In recent years, the research on the correlation between tumour immunotherapy and tumour microenvironment has been paid more attention, and it is necessary to deeply explore and study the relationship between them in theory.

 On the relation between tumour and its microenvironment, there may be two general logical possibilities, one is mutual dependence and promotion relation and interaction that are conducive to tumor growth, the other is manifested as mutual antagonism and struggle condition, that are not conducive to tumor growth.

The complete regulatory system in the human body is the neuro-endocrine-cytokine regulatory system. Cytokines play a key and decisive role in the occurrence and development of diseases (especially localized lesions), while the changes in the nervous system and endocrine hormones are mostly secondary changes in most diseases. The current modern medical development level cannot instantly judge and recognize the dysfunctional status modes and the abnormal change patterns of the cytokine network due to the extreme complexity of the cytokine network.

 Based on the cognition and principle of modern medicine, clinical manifestations of a disease finally depend on the dysfunction status of the body resulting from the disease. Unlike modern medicine, the basic principle and model of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) diagnosis and treatment of diseases is based on the patient’s comprehensive clinical manifestations to determine the etiology, pathogenesis and clinical treatment principles. The author has independently and deeply engaged in the comparative research of Chinese and Western medicine for 25 years, and proposed a novel clinical disease diagnosis and treatment model to instantly judge and identify the basic pathogenesis and cytokine storm characteristics of the disease, based on the comprehensive clinical manifestations of a disease or a patient. No matter what the disease is, it does not require the use of various Western medicine examinations (in fact, it cannot be diagnosed even with Western medical examinations), the inherent feature of cytokine storm of the disease can be identified only through observing and analyzing the clinical manifestations of the disease or patient, and precision diagnosis and treatment measures can be proposed. Based on the model, the author cracked that the pathogenesis of COVID-19 pneumonia is the result of a cytokine storm caused by the abnormal increase in the biological activity of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta).

 Applying this innovative thinking to the study of the relationship between tumour and microenvironment, the author exploratively proposed a basic thinking strategy for judging and identifying tumor microenvironment dysfunctional status based on clinical manifestations, and proposed a tumour microenvironment dysfunctional status and cytokine changing pattern, that is, a microenvironment dysfunctional status due to abnormally increased biological activity of TGF-beta and other relative cytokines which may lead to the markedly decreased immune function around the tumour and also in the body.