Importance of immune monitoring approaches and the use of immune checkpoints for the treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma: From bench to clinic and vice versa (Review)

PMID: 29484440
Journal: International journal of oncology (volume: 52, issue: 4, Int. J. Oncol. 2018 Apr;52(4):1041-1056)
Published: 2018-02-23

Scutti JAB


On the basis of immunological results, it is not in doubt that the immune system is able to recognize and eliminate transformed cells. A plethora of studies have investigated the immune system of patients with cancer and how it is prone to immunosuppression, due in part to the decrease in lymphocyte proliferation and cytotoxic activity. The series of experiments published following the demonstration by Dr Allison’s group of the potential effect of anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) paved the way for a new perception in cancer immunotherapy: Immune checkpoints. Several T cell‑co-stimulatory molecules including cluster of differentiation (CD)28, inducible T cell co-stimulatory, 4-1BB, OX40, glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor-related gene and CD27, and inhibitory molecules including T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-containing-3, programmed cell death-1 (PD-1), programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1), V-domain immunoglobulin suppressor of T cells activation, T cell immunoglobulin and immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif domain, and B and T lymphocyte attenuator have been described in regulating T cell functions, and have been demonstrated to be essential targets in immunotherapy. In preclinical studies, glioblastoma multiforme, a high-grade glioma, the monotherapy targeting PD-1/PD-L1 and CTLA-4 resulted in increased survival times. An improved understanding of the pharmacodynamics and immune monitoring on glioma cancers, particularly in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), an orphan type of cancer, is expected to have a major contribution to the development of novel therapeutic approaches. On the basis of the recent preclinical and clinical studies of glioma, but not of DIPG, the present review makes a claim for the importance of investigating the tumor microenvironment, the immune response and the use of immune checkpoints (agonists or antagonists) in preclinical/clinical DIPG samples by immune monitoring approaches and high-dimensional analysis. Evaluating the potential predictive and correlative biomarkers in preclinical and clinical studies may assist in answering certain crucial questions that may be useful to improve the clinical response in patients with DIPG.