Much has been written about the impact of cancer immunotherapies, particularly the twin pillars of checkpoint blockade and CAR T cell therapies, but beyond that lies a huge wealth of alternative approaches that may come in very useful indeed.
Just as we have seen oncogenic escape witth targeted therapies, there is also a related phenomenon called immune escape. Likewise, this can occur as either primary or secondary resistance.
It’s very important to consider this issue, because, after all, the vast majority of cancer patients with solid tumours do NOT see durable clinical benefit with immunotherapies when given as single agents. Some don’t respond at all (primary resistance), while others may see an initial response, then relapse (secondary resistance).
Understanding the mechanisms involved in resistance may help us design better combination trials to address the underlying biology as well as develop biomarkers to help select appropriate patients for each regimen. Clearly resistance can vary, not only by tumour type, but also by lesion and patient, making it a very complex situation to research.
Some interesting new information has recently come to light that is worthy of futher discussion and analysis, particularly in the context of other published data in this niche.
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