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A new strategy for immunotherapy of microsatellite-stable (MSS)-type advanced colorectal cancer: Multi-pathway combination therapy with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors.

Immunology 2024 March 23
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a frequent gastrointestinal malignancy with high rates of morbidity and mortality; 85% of these tumours are proficient mismatch repair (pMMR)-microsatellite instability-low (MSI-L)/microsatellite stable (MSS) CRC known as 'cold' tumours that are resistant to immunosuppressive drugs. Monotherapy with programmed death 1 (PD-1)/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors is ineffective for treating MSS CRC, making immunotherapy for MSS CRC a bottleneck. Recent studies have found that the multi-pathway regimens combined with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors can enhance the efficacy of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 in MSS CRC by increasing the number of CD8+ T cells, upregulating PD-L1 expression and improving the tumour microenvironment. This paper reviews the research progress of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors in combination with cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) inhibitors, oncolytic virus, intestinal flora, antiangiogenic agents, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and epigenetic drugs for the treatment of pMMR-MSI-L/MSS CRC.

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