Magazine Article | September 1, 2015

Combination Cancer Immunotherapy: A 2015 Update

Source: Life Science Leader
wayne koberstein

By Wayne Koberstein, Executive Editor, Life Science Leader magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @WayneKoberstein

One Year Later … Progress & Peril
How far has immuno-oncology progressed since the triumphant news on checkpoint inhibitors in 2014?

Llew Keltner, M.D., Ph.D., Roundtable Moderator

What a difference a year makes. Last year, beginning in September, we ran a series that addressed the challenges and opportunities of using new agents to rally the immune system against cancer. In most cases, we were talking about the checkpoint blockers such as ipilimumab and tremelimumab, inhibiting the checkpoint CTLA-4, and nivolumab, pembrolizumab, and pidilizumab, which have a multimodal effect on another target, PD-1. Checkpoints are proteins expressed on immune cells that normally “check” the immune system from attacking the body’s own cells. But tumors can hijack the checkpoints to keep the immune cells inactive and thus prevent an immune response.