Immune checkpoint therapy, mainly including anti‑CTLA‑4 therapy and anti‑PD‑1/PD‑L1 therapy, which targets regulatory pathways in T cells to enhance antitumor immune responses by blocking the inhibitory signals of the immune system. This therapy has led to important clinical advances and provided a new weapon against cancer, and has elicited durable clinical responses and, in a fraction of patients, long-term remissions where patients exhibit no clinical signs of cancer for many years. The way forward for this class of novel agents lies in our ability to understand human immune responses in the tumor microenvironment. While certain checkpoint blockades such as CTLA-4 and PD-1 have proven clinically successful, both alone and in conjunction with each other, there are several other targets that such as LAG-3, TIM-3, KIR, and GITR that have shown promise for passive immunotherapy. Here, we mainly review recent clinical studies of immune checkpoint therapy.
As mentioned in the article- What is an immune checkpoint inhibitor, we have introduced two kinds of typical immune checkpoint inhibitors and their action mechanism, which have proven clinically successful. If you want to know more details, please click here.
Here, we list several research progress of immune checkpoint therapy.
1. Spectrum of cardiovascular toxicities with immune checkpoint inhibitors revealed
The study, published online Nov. 12 in the Lancet Oncology, has indicated a role for a multi-disciplinary group that will help us characterize several novel diverse side-effects of immunotherapies and identify those at risk, including inflammation of heart muscle and blood vessels. Because, when the immune system wakes up to attack the cancer cells, in rare situations it can also attack the heart and vessels, and in some cases, this can result in fatalities.” said Joe-Elie Salem, MD, Ph.D., a Vanderbilt Cardio-Oncology Fellow and the study's first author.
There searchers also found 18 cases of temporal arteritis with a risk for blindness occurring with vasculitis. Visual impairment and blindness occurred with one-third of those cases. If you want to know more information, please click here.
2. Fecal transplant effective against immunotherapy-induced colitis.
The research, published today in Nature Medicine, was led by Yinghong Wang, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition and director of Medication Induced Colitis and Enteritis. Colitis, inflammation of the colon, is the second most common side effect from ICIs. In this study, both patients had a complete resolution of their colitis following treatment with FMT. The first patient's colitis resolved within two weeks following a single FMT treatment; the second patient experienced a partial recovery after the first treatment, followed by complete recovery after a second FMT. With endoscopic evaluation before and after treatment, both patients displayed significant improvements in inflammation and ulcerations, including a reduction of inflammatory immune cells. You can click here to obtain more details.
3. Combination chemotherapy and immunotherapy effective in Phase II leukemia study.
Azacitidine, a combination of the standard-of-care chemotherapy drug, is approved in the U.S. and Europe for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and is approved in Europe and commonly used in treating older patients with newly diagnosed AML. In this study, azacitidine, with nivolumab (an immune checkpoint inhibitor), demonstrated an encouraging response rate and overall survival in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) according to findings from a Phase II study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The study, published in the Nov. 8 online issue of Cancer Discovery, was led by Naval Daver, M.D., associate professor of Leukemia. The study followed 70 patients with an average of two prior treatments for relapsed AML, and reported a 33 percent overall response with 22 percent of patients in complete remission. You can click here to obtain more details.