The tumor microenvironment is rich in extracellular ATP. This nucleotide affects both cancer and infiltrating immune cell responses by acting at P2 receptors, chiefly P2X7. ATP is then degraded to generate adenosine, a very powerful immunosuppressant. The purinergic hypothesis put forward by Geoff Burnstock prompted innovative investigation in this field and provided the intellectual framework to interpret a myriad of experimental findings. This is a short appraisal of how Geoff's inspiration influenced cancer studies and my own investigation highlighting the key role of the P2X7 receptor.