There are many natural immune effector mechanisms for tumor detection and elimination.1 Regular function of these mechanisms helps prevent tumor growth and metastasis. 1,2


The discovery and development of immuno-oncology therapy in recent years represents a milestone in the treatment of cancer. However, treatment challenges persist. The potential to address a range of additional immune checkpoint biomarkers makes continued research in immuno-oncology vital to the evolution of cancer therapy.


Oncogenic Expression

Suppression, evasion, and appropriation of natural immune effector mechanisms for tumor detection and elimination contribute to tumor growth and metastasis. 1,2

  • Suppression of these mechanisms prevents the natural antitumor immune response.2
  • Evasion of these mechanisms occurs via changes in the tumor cells that prevent recognition by immune cells, such as3:
    • Loss of cell surface tumor antigens
    • Loss of sensitivity to complement, T-cell, or natural killer (NK)-cell induced lysis
  • Appropriation of normal immune functions occurs within the tumor microenvironment.1,2

Therapeutic Potential

The introduction of immune checkpoint inhibitors in oncology has increased the potential for durable responses and shifted therapeutic attention to extending the tail of the survival curve. However, not all patients respond to currently available immunotherapy agents.

  • Identification of novel immuno-oncology targets could help address these treatment gaps.
  • Due to the many co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory ligand-receptor interactions that can be leveraged by tumor cells, combination immuno-oncology therapies may also help address patient needs.
  1. Finn OJ. Immuno-oncology: understanding the function and dysfunction of the immune system in cancer. Ann Oncol. 2012;23(suppl 8):viii6-viii9.
  2. Hanahan D, Weinberg RA. Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation. Cell. 2011;144:646-674.
  3. Fan G, Wang Z, Hao M, Li J. Bispecific antibodies and their applications. J Hermatol Oncol. 2015;8:130. Doi: 10.1186/s13045-015-0227-0.

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