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Discov Med. 2016 Feb;21(114):125-33.

Advances in cancer immunology and cancer immunotherapy.

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Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.
Department of Pathology, Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


After decades of setbacks, cancer immunology is living its Golden Age. Recent advances in cancer immunology have provided new therapeutic approaches to treat cancer. The objective clinical response observed in patients treated with antibodies that block the immune checkpoints, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell-death protein 1 (PD-1)/programmed cell-death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathways, has led to their FDA approval for the treatment of melanoma in 2011 and in 2014, respectively. The anti-PD-1 antibody nivolumab has received the FDA-approval in March 2015 for squamous lung cancer treatment. In addition, antibodies targeting PD-1 or PD-L1 have demonstrated their efficacy and safety in additional tumors, including non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), renal cell carcinoma (RCC), bladder cancer, and Hodgkin's lymphoma. Almost at the same time, the field of adoptive cell transfer has exploded. The chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T technology has provided strong evidence of efficacy in the treatment of B cell malignancies, and different T cell based treatments are currently under investigation for different types of tumors. In this review we will discuss the latest advances in cancer immunology and immunotherapy as well as new treatments now under development in the clinic and potential strategies that have shown promising results in preclinical models.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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