Current status of chimeric antigen receptor engineered T cell-based and immune checkpoint blockade-based cancer immunotherapies
Adoptive cell therapies with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) engineered T cells (CAR-T) and immune checkpoint inhibition (ICI)-based cancer immunotherapies have lately shown remarkable success in certain tumor types. CAR-T cell-based therapies targeting CD19 can now induce durable remissions as well as prolong disease-free survival of patients with CD19 positive treatment refractory B cell malignancies and ICI-based therapies with humanized monoclonal antibodies against the T cell inhibitory receptors CTLA-4 and PD-1 as well as against the PD-1 ligand, PD-L1, can now achieve durable remissions as well as prolongation of life of a sizeable fraction of patients with melanoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-small cell cancers. Most importantly, these immuno-therapeutic treatment modalities have raised the possibility of achieving long-term “containment” as well as “cures” for certain types of cancer. While this represents major advances in cancer immunotherapy, both modalities come with considerable toxicities, including fatalities. Although more work will be needed to bring CAR-T cell-based therapies to the bedside for most major cancers and a good deal more will be needed to make ICI—alone or in combination with other treatment modalities—work more consistently and across most major cancers, these two treatment modalities stand out as superb examples of successful translation of bench research to the bedside as well as represent real progress in the field of cancer immunotherapy.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00262-017-2007-x
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