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Drug Discov Today. 2014 Sep;19(9):1427-32. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2014.03.022. Epub 2014 Mar 28.

Synergizing immunotherapy with molecular-targeted anticancer treatment.

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Instituto Argentino de Matemática, CONICET (National Research Council), Saavedra 15, Buenos Aires 1083, Argentina; Collegium Basilea, Institute for Advanced Study, Hochstrasse 51, CH 4053 Basel, Switzerland; Ariel Fernández Consultancy, Avenida del Libertador 1092, Buenos Aires 1112, Argentina. Electronic address:


The therapeutic opportunity for anticancer kinase inhibitors (KIs) that block cell-signaling pathways is materializing. Yet, these molecular-targeted therapies are not tailored to be allies of the immune system, and often antagonize it despite generating antigenic activity. KIs usually offer an incomplete cure and one culprit is the lack of synergy between the drug and the immune system, a problem that is magnified when the therapeutic context involves HIV-1-induced immunosuppression (AIDS). We outline a strategy to fulfill the therapeutic imperative of recruiting cooperative immune responses. Accordingly, we propose a method to redesign anticancer drugs to harness the antigenic products of drug-induced apoptosis of tumor cells, thus eliciting an adjuvant immune response.

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