Recent advances in the field of anti-cancer immunotherapy

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Background: The main goal of anti-cancer therapy is to specifically inhibit the malignant activity of cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells unaffected. As such, for every proposed therapy, it is important to keep in mind the therapeutic index - the ratio of the toxic dose over the therapeutic dose. The use of immunotherapy has allowed a means to both specifically block protein-protein interaction and deliver cytotoxic events to a tumor-specific antigen. Review scope: It is the objective of this review to give an overview on current immunotherapy treatment for cancers using monoclonal antibodies. We demonstrate three exciting targets for immunotherapy, TNF-α Converting Enzyme (TACE), Cathepsin S and Urokinase Plasmogen Activator and go over the advances made with one of the most used monoclonal antibodies in cancer therapy, Rituximab; as well as Herceptin, which is used for breast cancer therapy. Furthermore, we touch on other venues of immunotherapy, such as adaptive cell transfer, the use of nucleic acids and the use of dendritic cells. Finally, we summarize some ongoing studies that spell tentative advancements for anti-cancer immunotherapy. General significance: Immunotherapy is at the forefront of anti-cancer therapies, allying both a high degree of specificity to general high effectiveness and fewer side-effects.




Neves, H., & Kwok, H. F. (2015, June 1). Recent advances in the field of anti-cancer immunotherapy. BBA Clinical. Elsevier.

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