Oncology Central

Could targeting T-helper cells aid the development of effective cancer vaccines?


Immunotherapy was one of the first treatment forms explored for cancer, beginning with Coley’s toxins in the late 1800s [1], yet it has remained a field largely characterized by great experimental promise with modest clinical utility. Only in the last 30 years have the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying immune system function been defined in sufficient depth to permit the development of designed immunotherapies. Yervoy® (ipilimumab) is the archetype example of that paradigm, in which defining the role of CD80/CD86 interactions with CD28 and CTLA-4 in tuning T-cell activation signals revealed CTLA-4 blockade as a possible approach to lowering T-cell activation thresholds and produce antitumor immunity in cancer patients [2].

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