The role of B cells in the tumor microenvironment and B-cell–mediated antitumor immune responses remains relatively understudied. Recent seminal studies have discovered that B cells and associated tertiary lymphoid structures correlate with responses to checkpoint blockade immunotherapy and are prognostic for overall survival of cancer patients. B-cell subsets have remarkable functional diversity and include professional antigen-presenting cells, regulatory cells, memory populations, and antibody-producing plasma cells. Importantly, secreted antibodies can independently activate innate immune responses and induce the cancer immunity cycle. Thus, B cells and B-cell–mediated antibody responses comprise the largely underappreciated second arm of the adaptive immune system and certainly deserve further attention in the field of oncology. Here, we review the known functions of B cells in the tumor microenvironment, the contribution of B cells to the antitumor activity of immunotherapies, and the role of B cells in the overall survival of cancer patients.

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