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Curr Pharm Des. 2018;24(41):4911-4920. doi: 10.2174/1381612824666181112114958.

Small Molecules as PD-1/PD-L1 Pathway Modulators for Cancer Immunotherapy.

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Department of Chemistry, Qilu Normal University, Jinan, Shandong 250013, China.
School of Pharmacy, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu 226001, China.
Jinan T aorui Pharma & Tech Co., Ltd., Jinan, Shandong 250101, China.
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250100, China.


Blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 interactions using PD-1/PD-L1 pathway modulators has shown unprecedented clinical efficacy in various cancer models. Current PD-1/PD-L1 modulators approved by FDA are exclusively dominated by therapeutic antibodies. Nevertheless, therapeutic antibodies also exhibit several disadvantages such as low tumor penetration, difficulty in crossing physiological barriers, lacking oral bioavailability, high manufacturing costs, inaccessible to intracellular targets, immunogenicity, immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Modulation of PD-1/PD-L1 pathway using small molecules may be an alternative approach to mobilize immune system to fight against cancers. In this review, we focus on summarizing the recently disclosed chemical structures and preliminary structure-activity relationships (SARs) of small molecules as PD-1/PD-L1 modulators for cancer immunotherapy.


Immune checkpoint modulators; biphenyl derivatives; molecular docking; oxadiazoles; sulfonamides; thiadiazoles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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