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Title: Multi-layered control of PD-L1 expression in EBV-associated gastric cancer
Authors: Christos Miliotis, Frank J Slack
Affiliations: Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Abstract: Gastric cancer (GC) is the fifth most common cancer worldwide and around 10% of the cases are characterized by ubiquitous EBV infection of the cancer cells. One of the main features of EBV-associated GC (EBVaGC) is high lymphocytic infiltration and high expression of immune checkpoint proteins, including programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1). This highlights EBVaGC as a strong candidate for immune checkpoint blockade therapy, which has been recently approved for advanced cases of GC. Understanding the underlying mechanisms that control PD-L1 expression in EBVaGC can also indicate new targets for combination therapy. This review provides the most recent updates on the multi-layered control of PD-L1 expression in EBVaGC.
Title: Novel Immunotherapeutic Approaches in Head and Neck Cancer
Authors: Heft Neal ME1, Brenner JC1, Spector ME1, Swiecicki PL2
Affiliations: 1. Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
2. Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI
Abstract: Head and neck cancer is a clinically and molecularly heterogeneous disease which represents the sixth most common cancer worldwide. Despite advancements in surgical and radiation techniques, around 50% of patients with head and neck cancer will develop metastatic disease. Treatment of metastatic head and neck cancer has been dependent on cytotoxic chemotherapy and forays into immunotherapy have been met with failure. However, with the advent of PD-1 inhibitors, immunotherapy has finally found success. Nivolumab and pembrolizumab have been demonstrated to offer survival benefit and are approved treatments. Despite the promise of currently approved immunotherapies, there continues to be low response rates and additional strategies are needed. Head and neck tumors exhibit numerous derangements in the tumor microenvironment that aid in immune evasion and may serve as targets for future therapies. Here, alterations in the immune microenvironment and current therapeutic strategies are reviewed with a focus on novel immunologic approaches.