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Cancer Immunotherapy: Beyond Checkpoint Blockade

Authors
  • Dougan, Michael
  • Dranoff, Glenn
  • Dougan, Stephanie K.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annual Review of Cancer Biology
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Mar 04, 2019
Volume
3
Pages
55–75
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-cancerbio-030518-055552
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Blocking antibodies to the immune checkpoint receptors or their ligands have revolutionized the treatment of diverse malignancies. Many tumors are recognized by adaptive immunity, but these adaptive responses can be inhibited by immunosuppressive mechanisms within the tumor, often through pathways outside of the currently targeted checkpoints. For this reason, only a minority of cancer patients achieve durable responses to current immunotherapies. Multiple novel approaches strive to expand immunotherapy's reach. These may include targeting alternative immune checkpoints. However, many investigational strategies look beyond checkpoint blockade. These include cellular therapies to bypass endogenous immunity and efforts to stimulate new adaptive antitumor responses using vaccines, adjuvants, and combinations with cytotoxic therapy, as well as strategies to inhibit innate immune suppression and modulate metabolism within the tumor microenvironment. The challenge for immunotherapy going forward will be to select rational strategies for overcoming barriers to effective antitumor responses from the myriad possible targets.

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