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Nat Rev Cancer. 2009 Jun;9(6):445-52. doi: 10.1038/nrc2639.

Inhibitors of indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase for cancer therapy: can we see the wood for the trees?

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Department of General, Visceral and Transplant Surgery, University Hospital of Tubingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Strasse 3, Tubingen, Germany.


Indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is an immunosuppressive enzyme capable of inhibiting a destructive maternal T cell response against allogeneic fetuses. Expression of IDO is evident in tumours and is thought to enable escape from immunologically mediated rejection. Consequently, clinical trials using an inhibitor of IDO, 1-methyltryptophan (1MT), have been initiated. However, a review of the current literature indicates that we are far from understanding the biological relevance of IDO expression during tumorigenesis. A better understanding of IDO biology is needed to comprehend the effect of IDO inhibitors and to provide a rationale for their therapeutic application in cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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