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The Emerging Role of Checkpoint Inhibition in Microsatellite Stable Colorectal Cancer

David J Hermel, Darren Sigal
Journal of Personalized Medicine 2019 January 16, 9 (1)
Checkpoint inhibitor therapy has introduced a revolution in contemporary anticancer therapy. It has led to dramatic improvements in patient outcomes and has spawned tremendous research into novel immunomodulatory agents and combination therapy that has changed the trajectory of cancer care. However, clinical benefit in patients with colorectal cancer has been generally limited to tumors with loss of mismatch repair function and those with specific germline mutations in the DNA polymerase gene. Unfortunately, tumors with these specific mutator phenotypes are in the minority. Recent pre-clinical and clinical studies have begun to reveal encouraging results suggesting that checkpoint inhibitor therapy can be expanded to an increasing number of colorectal tumors with microsatellite stability and the absence of traditional predictive biomarkers of checkpoint inhibitor response. These studies generally rely on combinations of checkpoint inhibitors with chemotherapy, molecular targeted therapy, radiation therapy, or other novel immunomodulatory agents. This article will review the most current data in microsatellite stable colorectal cancer.


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