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Nat Rev Cancer. 2011 Oct 24;11(11):805-12. doi: 10.1038/nrc3153.

Novel cancer immunotherapy agents with survival benefit: recent successes and next steps.

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Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center, Box 0018-7, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved two novel immunotherapy agents, sipuleucel-T and ipilimumab, which showed a survival benefit for patients with metastatic prostate cancer and melanoma, respectively. The mechanisms by which these agents provideclinical benefit are not completely understood. However, knowledge of these mechanisms will be crucial for probing human immune responses and tumour biology in order to understand what distinguishes responders from non-responders. The following next steps are necessary: first, the development of immune-monitoring strategies for the identification of relevant biomarkers; second, the establishment of guidelines for the assessment of clinical end points; and third, the evaluation of combination therapy strategies to improve clinical benefit.

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