Reviewing Immuno-Oncology: What works and what doesn’t

11/03/2016 - 4 minutes

Researchers from Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and ISA Pharmaceuticals (Netherlands) have authored an extensive review of what is working in immuno-oncology – and what hasn’t.

nature_reviews_cancer_immunoThe review was accepted in the well-known journal Nature Reviews Cancer and it covers the findings of 250 peer-reviewed papers about immunotherapies.

Immuno-oncology is radically changing the way cancer is being treated, and there are many pharma and biotechs actively pursuing therapies that can turn the patient’s immune system against cancer. However, the actual application of immuno-oncology has a mixed track record. This new review should help understand what strategies are having success.

Raising tumor-specific T-cells to target tumors is successful in most cases. However, doing so does not necessarily mean that T-cells can perform their function within the tumor, and effectively destroy it.

This is because of the overwhelming resilience of cancer cells. They protect themselves by suppressing the immune system. Cancer immunotherapies have only successfully eradicated tumor cells in a setting where immunosuppression was less evident —

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