UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Emerging targets in cancer immunotherapy Burugu, Samantha; Dancsok, Amanda R.; Nielsen, Torsten

Abstract

The first generation of immune checkpoint inhibitors (anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1/PD-L1) targeted natural immune homeostasis pathways, co-opted by cancers, to drive anti-tumor immune responses. These agents led to unprecedented results in patients with previously incurable metastatic disease and may become first-line therapies for some advanced cancers. However, these agents are efficacious in only a minority of patients. Newer strategies are becoming available that target additional immunomodulatory mechanisms to activate patients’ own anti tumor immune responses. Herein, we present a succinct summary of emerging immune targets with reported pre-clinical efficacy that have progressed to active investigation in clinical trials. These emerging targets include co-inhibitory and co-stimulatory markers of the innate and adaptive immune system. In this review, we discuss: 1) T lymphocyte markers: Lymphocyte Activation Gene 3 [LAG-3], T-cell Immunoglobulinand Mucin-domain-containing molecule 3 [TIM-3], V-domain containing Ig Suppressor of T cell Activation [VISTA], T cell ImmunoGlobulin and ITIM domain [TIGIT], B7-H3, Inducible T-cell Co-stimulator [ICOS/ICOSL], CD27/CD70, and Glucocorticoid-Induced TNF Receptor [GITR]; 2) macrophage markers: CD47/Signal-Regulatory Protein alpha [SIRPα] and Indoleamine-2,3-Dioxygenase [IDO]; and 3) natural killer cell markers: CD94/NKG2A and the Killer Immunoglobulin-like receptor [KIR] family. Finally, we briefly highlight combination strategies and potential biomarkers of response and resistance to these cancer immunotherapies.

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