The tumor microenvironment is a complex milieu of tumor and host cells. Host cells can include tumor-reactive T cells capable of killing tumor cells. However, more frequently the tumor and host components interact to generate a highly immune suppressive environment that frustrates T cell cytotoxicity and promotes tumor progression through a variety of immune and non-immune mechanisms. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are a major host component contributing to the immune suppressive environment. In addition to their inherent immune suppressive function, MDSC amplify the immune suppressive activity of macrophages and dendritic cells via cross-talk. This article will review the cell-cell interactions used by MDSC to inhibit anti-tumor immunity and promote progression, and the role of inflammation in promoting cross-talk between MDSC and other cells in the tumor microenvironment.