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Current Cancer Drug Targets


ISSN (Print): 1568-0096
ISSN (Online): 1873-5576

Review Article

Immune Checkpoint Regulators: A New Era Toward Promising Cancer Therapy

Author(s): Mohammed Shaaban, Heba Othman, Takwa Ibrahim, Mariam Ali, Mohamed Abdelmoaty, Abdel-Rahman Abdel-Kawi, Ahmed Mostafa, Aya El Nakeeb, Heba Emam and Alaa Refaat*

Volume 20, Issue 6, 2020

Page: [429 - 460] Pages: 32

DOI: 10.2174/1568009620666200422081912

Price: $65


During the last century, our battle against cancer has been inaugurated upon three main approaches; surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The latest findings on the effectiveness of immunotherapy in cancer management offer a ray of hope after decades of research and studies on the best treatment methods. Immunotherapy has proven effective in the surveillance and destruction of cancer- causing cells, demonstrating its ability to suppress cancer through controlling the wellestablished immune-editing process. Immuno-editing is a process that comprises three principal elements; elimination, equilibrium, and escape, and is paramount to the comprehension of checkpoint inhibition. Cancer cells employ various approaches to evade the elimination step leading to its immune- escape. The escape mechanism encompasses the up-regulation of negative co-signals that block successful activation of cancer-eradicating immune cells, developing cytokine background that favors the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME), or dropping the expression of tumor- specific proteins known as neo-antigens, therefore reducing the immunogenic activity against cancer cells. Today, checkpoint inhibitors are considered as a primary approach in our fight against cancer. Strategies targeting the inhibitory roles of checkpoint inhibitors have been shown effective against different cancer types and stages, and some already gained the FDA’s approval. This review seeks to comprehensively cover the historical background as well as the most recent updates for the role of immune checkpoint regulators in the maintenance of immune homeostatic balance as well as keeping the tumorigenic cells in check.

Keywords: Cancer immunotherapy, checkpoint stimulators, checkpoint inhibitors, immuno-surveillance, tumor microenvironment, PD-1, CTLA-4, SIRPα/CD47.

Graphical Abstract

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