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J Immunother Cancer. 2018 Jul 3;6(1):65. doi: 10.1186/s40425-018-0376-0.

Tumor matrix remodeling and novel immunotherapies: the promise of matrix-derived immune biomarkers.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA.
2
University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, 1111 Highland Avenue, WIMR 4031, Madison, WI, 53705, USA.
3
Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA. fasimako@medicine.wisc.edu.
4
University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, 1111 Highland Avenue, WIMR 4031, Madison, WI, 53705, USA. fasimako@medicine.wisc.edu.

Abstract

Recent advances in our understanding of the dynamics of cellular cross-talk have highlighted the significance of host-versus-tumor effect that can be harnessed with immune therapies. Tumors exploit immune checkpoints to evade adaptive immune responses. Cancer immunotherapy has witnessed a revolution in the past decade with the development of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), monoclonal antibodies against cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) or their ligands, such as PD1 ligand 1 (PD-L1). ICIs have been reported to have activity against a broad range of tumor types, in both solid organ and hematologic malignancy contexts. However, less than one-third of the patients achieve a durable and meaningful treatment response. Expression of immune checkpoint ligands (e.g., PD-L1), mutational burden and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes are currently used as biomarkers for predicting response to ICIs. However, they do not reliably predict which patients will benefit from these therapies. There is dire need to discover novel biomarkers to predict treatment efficacy and to identify areas for development of combination strategies to improve response rates. Emerging evidence suggests key roles of tumor extracellular matrix (ECM) components and their proteolytic remodeling products in regulating each step of the cancer-immunity cycle. Here we review tumor matrix dynamics and matrix remodeling in context of anti-tumor immune responses and immunotherapy and propose the exploration of matrix-based biomarkers to identify candidates for immune therapy.

KEYWORDS:

Adaptive immune response; Immune biomarkers; Immune checkpoint inhibitors; Immunotherapy; Matrix remodeling; Tumor microenvironment

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