CD40 is a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily member expressed on antigen-presenting cells (APCs), including dendritic cells (DC), B cells, macrophages, and monocytes and plays a key role in the activation of the immune system.1,2 Expression extends to a variety of nonhematopoietic cell types, including neuronal, epithelial, and endothelial cells and fibroblasts.1,2
CD40 ligand (CD40L; also known as CD154) is primarily expressed on activated CD4+ helper T cells.1-3
CD40/CD40L interactions promote both innate and adaptive immune responses. The effect is dependent on both the type of cell expressing CD40 and the microenvironment in which the interaction occurs.1-5
CD40 agonism has the potential to generate anticancer immunity by various mechanisms through initiating antigen presentation, promoting adaptive immunity, and reprograming suppressive tumor microenvironment.1
Compared with cancer tissue, normal tissues exhibited very low to no CD40 levels, underscoring the potential of CD40 as a cancer-specific immunological target.6
Substantial CD40 expression was detected in a variety of frequent solid cancer types including:
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