[Targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint signal - a new treatment strategy for cancer]

Junzo Hamanishi, Ikuo Konishi
Gan to Kagaku Ryoho. Cancer & Chemotherapy 2014, 41 (9): 1071-6
Recent studies have revealed that tumor cells can acquire several mechanisms to evade host immunity in the tumor microenvironment, called cancer immune escape. One of the most important mechanisms in this system is an immunosuppressive co- signal, called immune checkpoint, in the programmed cell death-1(PD-1)/programmed death-ligand 1(PD-L1)pathway. PD-1 is mainly expressed on activated T cells, while PD-L1 is frequently expressed on tumor cells. Inhibition of the interaction between PD-1 and PD-L1 enhances T-cell response and mediates antitumor activity. Several clinical trials by several institutions and pharmaceutical companies in the world have shown the antitumor efficacy of PD-1/PD-L1 signal blockade in patients with some solid and hematological malignancies. Production of some drugs for use in anti-PD-1 therapies are on the verge of completion. Herein, we provide a background about the PD-1/PD-L1 signal and describe some previously performed foreign clinical trials, including a trial in our department.

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