Over the past decade, our understanding of the role of the lymphatic vasculature in tumor progression has evolved from it being a passive participant, as a first step along Halsted's path of sequential metastasis, to a potentially active regulator of antitumor immune surveillance. These new data, however, seemingly support paradoxical predictions for cancer immunotherapy; on one hand that enhanced lymphatic involvement augments antitumor immune surveillance and on the other, drives immune evasion and metastasis. The potential to leverage lymphatic biology for the benefit of clinical immunotherapy, therefore, requires a mechanistic understanding of how the lymphatic vasculature interacts with functional immune responses during disease progression and in the context of relevant immunotherapy regimes. In this review, I dissect the promise and challenge of engaging the lymphatic system for therapy and suggest important avenues for future investigation and potential application.

See related article, p. 1041

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