Enhancing responses to cancer immunotherapy

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Science  02 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6375, pp. 516-517
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar6574

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Immune checkpoint blocking therapies (ICBs) that target T cell inhibitory receptors (immune checkpoints) have been implemented in the clinic to treat a variety of malignancies. To exemplify the potential success of these therapies, the 3-year overall survival for advanced melanoma has increased from 12% before 2010, when standard of care was chemotherapy, to ∼60% using ICBs (1). However, ICBs fail many patients (10 to 60% of treated patients respond, depending on cancer type), raising the obvious question of why. On page 582 of this issue, Chowell et al. (2) report that the success of ICBs is remarkably dependent on the ability to present diverse tumor antigens to T cells.