- Prof. Steven N. Fiering
- Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
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Special Issue Introduction
The establishment of T-cell immune checkpoint inhibition (ICI) as a standard immune-based cancer treatment started a revolution in cancer treatment that manipulates the patient’s immune system to eliminate tumors. It started with the acceptance that tumors are recognized by the immune system, following over 100 years of debate. This understanding was solidified by learning that some forms of cell death are immunogenic, and some standard cytotoxic cancer drugs were exploiting the immune system to recognize immunogenic cell death caused by the drug and eliminate cancer cells by immune attack. Now as the use of checkpoint blocking antibodies expands, it is clear that ICI by itself is not sufficient, and many labs are developing other immune-based therapies. These include adoptive immune cell therapy, therapeutic vaccines, oncolytic and immune stimulating microorganisms and other approaches. These can be used either systemically or by direct injection into recognized tumors with the expectation that this treatment (in situ vaccination) will expand systemic antitumor immunity. The current focus is on combining immune therapy options to get better response rates. Other important areas are identifying immune mechanisms, biomarkers of response during treatment or prior to treatment. It will be a long road, but we may be at the “end of the beginning” as we move toward combinatorial immunotherapy.
Submission Deadline31 Dec 2022