Advances in Anti-Cancer Immunotherapy: Car-T Cell, Checkpoint Inhibitors, Dendritic Cell Vaccines, and Oncolytic Viruses, and Emerging Cellular and Molecular Targets

PMID: 32645977
Journal: Cancers (volume: 12, issue: 7, Cancers (Basel) 2020 Jul;12(7))
Published: 2020-07-07

Alard E, Butnariu AB, Grillo M, Kirkham C, Zinovkin DA, Newnham L, Macciochi J, Pranjol MZI


Unlike traditional cancer therapies, such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy that are typically non-specific, cancer immunotherapy harnesses the high specificity of a patient’s own immune system to selectively kill cancer cells. The immune system is the body’s main cancer surveillance system, but cancers may evade destruction thanks to various immune-suppressing mechanisms. We therefore need to deploy various immunotherapy-based strategies to help bolster the anti-tumour immune responses. These include engineering T cells to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to specifically recognise tumour neoantigens, inactivating immune checkpoints, oncolytic viruses and dendritic cell (DC) vaccines, which have all shown clinical benefit in certain cancers. However, treatment efficacy remains poor due to drug-induced adverse events and immunosuppressive tendencies of the tumour microenvironment. Recent preclinical studies have unveiled novel therapies such as anti-cathepsin antibodies, galectin-1 blockade and anti-OX40 agonistic antibodies, which may be utilised as adjuvant therapies to modulate the tumour microenvironment and permit more ferocious anti-tumour immune response.