Future perspectives in cancer immunotherapy

The advent of immunotherapy has transformed the treatment paradigm of several solid tumors and is expected to influence the therapeutic algorithm even more in the future following the results of numerous ongoing clinical trials in a wide range of malignancies. Exploiting the anti-cancer effect of the immune system with the use of vaccines, viral vectors, and more lately with immune check-point inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor modification, has been proven a successful therapeutic strategy in a broad spectrum of tumors. In particular, immune check-point inhibition in melanoma, non-small-cell lung cancer and renal cancer, peptide vaccination in prostate cancer and glioblastoma, and oncolytic immunotherapy in melanoma are well-established therapeutic modalities that have obtained approval by regulatory authorities and are already in clinical use. A large number of ongoing clinical trials involving thousands of patients are currently seeking to define the appropriate tumor type, therapeutic setting, treatment combination and patient populations in order to maximize clinical benefit from immunotherapeutic agents. In this context, identification of the patients whose tumors are most likely to respond to immunotherapy by the use of appropriate biomarkers will be crucial for the optimal implementation of immunotherapy into the therapeutic armamentarium.

Annals of translational medicine. 2016 Jul [Epub]

Marinos Tsiatas, Giannis Mountzios, Giuseppe Curigliano

Department of Genitourinary Oncology, Athens Medical Center, Marousi, Greece ;, Department of Medical Oncology, 251 Airforce General Hospital, Athens, Greece ;, Division of Experimental Therapeutics, European Institute of Oncology, Milano, Italy.