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Checkpoint Blockade in Lung Cancer

August 2, 2017 at 2:52 pm

By David Lederer, MD, MS, editor, Annals of the American Thoracic Society

Follow Dr. Lederer on Twitter @AnnalsATS

The Era of Checkpoint Blockade in Lung Cancer: Taking the Brakes Off the Immune System

In this Focused Review in the August Annals of the American Thoracic Society, Edmund K. Moon, Corey J. Langer, and Steven M. Albelda discuss the advancement of checkpoint blockade immunotherapy–injection of antibodies which block immunosuppressive proteins, or “checkpoints,” upregulated on the surface of T cells–to treat lung cancer.  Specifically, their article explores the immune mechanisms underlying two checkpoint proteins: programmed cell death-1 (PD1) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated protein-4 (CTLA4). The article reviews published results from key clinical trials testing antibody blockade of these pathways in lung cancer patients. The authors summarize results of research to identify reliable biomarkers to predict those patients most likely to benefit from checkpoint blockade and the reported side effects of this new therapy.

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