Short Communication - Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutic Research (2023) Volume 7, Issue 4
Targeting the immune system: Mechanistic insights into the immunotherapeutic approaches for cancer treatment
Susannet Fiona *
Department of Biochemistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore
- *Corresponding Author:
- Susannet Fiona
Department of Biochemistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
Received: 02-July-2023, Manuscript No. AAJPTR-23-102979; Editor assigned: 03-July-2023, PreQC No. AAJPTR-23-102979; Reviewed:16-July-2023, QC No. AAJPTR-23-102979; Revised:18-July-2023, Manuscript No. AAJPTR-23-102979 (R); Published:25-July-2023, DOI:10.35841/ aajptr -7.4.158
Citation: Fiona S. Targeting the immune system: Mechanistic insights into the immunotherapeutic approaches for cancer treatment. J Pharmacol Ther Res. 2023;7(4):158
Cancer immunotherapy has emerged as a groundbreaking approach in cancer treatment, leveraging the body's immune system to combat malignant tumors. By targeting the immune system, immunotherapeutic approaches aim to enhance the recognition and elimination of cancer cells while overcoming the immunosuppressive mechanisms employed by tumors. This review provides mechanistic insights into various immunotherapeutic strategies, including immune checkpoint inhibitors, adoptive cell therapy, cancer vaccines, and cytokine-based therapies. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of these approaches is essential for optimizing their efficacy, identifying potential biomarkers of response, and advancing the development of personalized cancer immunotherapies .
The immune system plays a pivotal role in surveillance and defense against cancer. However, tumors have evolved multiple strategies to evade immune recognition and establish an immunosuppressive microenvironment. Immunotherapeutic approaches are designed to counteract these evasion mechanisms and reinvigorate the immune response against cancer cells. By understanding the mechanisms underlying these strategies, researchers can refine treatment protocols and identify predictive biomarkers that can guide patient selection and monitor treatment response .
Immune checkpoint inhibitors have emerged as a cornerstone of cancer immunotherapy. They target inhibitory signaling pathways, such as CTLA-4 and PD-1/PD-L1, to unleash anti-tumor immune responses. By blocking these checkpoints, immune cells, particularly T cells, are reactivated, leading to enhanced tumor recognition and elimination. Mechanistically, immune checkpoint inhibitors disrupt the immune suppressive signals generated by tumors and restore the immune system's ability to mount an effective anti-tumor response. Understanding the intricate interplay between immune checkpoint molecules, tumor cells, and the tumor microenvironment is essential for optimizing treatment strategies and identifying potential biomarkers of response .
Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) involves the administration of ex vivo expanded or genetically modified immune cells, such as T cells or natural killer (NK) cells, to target and eliminate cancer cells. Mechanistically, ACT exploits the natural ability of these cells to recognize and kill tumor cells. Genetically modified T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) or T cell receptors (TCRs) specific to tumor antigens can enhance the specificity and potency of T cell-mediated anti-tumor responses. Additionally, strategies to enhance the persistence and function of adoptively transferred cells, such as the use of cytokines or checkpoint inhibitors, are being explored to optimize ACT efficacy .
Cancer vaccines aim to prime and activate the immune system against tumor-associated antigens, either by delivering tumor antigens directly or by stimulating antigen-presenting cells. Mechanistically, cancer vaccines promote the activation of antigen-presenting cells, such as dendritic cells, to efficiently process and present tumor antigens to T cells, thereby initiating a specific anti-tumor immune response. Various vaccine formulations, including peptide-based vaccines, whole tumor cell vaccines, viral vector-based vaccines, and nucleic acid-based vaccines, have been developed to enhance immune recognition and response to tumor cells. Understanding the mechanisms of antigen presentation, T cell priming, and memory generation is crucial for optimizing vaccine design, administration routes, and adjuvant selection to improve their efficacy.[5,].
In conclusion, targeting the immune system through immunotherapeutic approaches has transformed the landscape of cancer treatment. Mechanistic insights into immune checkpoint inhibitors, adoptive cell therapy, cancer vaccines, and cytokine-based therapies have provided a deeper understanding of how these strategies enhance anti-tumor immune responses and overcome immune evasion mechanisms. The development of immunotherapies has demonstrated significant clinical successes, with durable responses and improved survival rates observed in subsets of patients across various cancer types.
- Da Hoong BY, Gan YH, Liu H cGAS-STING pathway in oncogenesis and cancer therapeutics. . Oncotarget. 2020;11(30):2930.
- Zheng J, Mo J, Zhu T, et al Comprehensive elaboration of the cGAS-STING signaling axis in cancer development and immunotherapy.. Mol. Cancer. 2020;19(1):1-9
- Lieberman NA, Moyes KW, Crane CA Developing immunotherapeutic strategies to target brain tumors. Anticancer Ther. 2016;16(7):775-88
- Ramagopal UA, Liu W, Garrett-Thomson SC, etal . Structural basis for cancer immunotherapy by the first-in-class checkpoint inhibitor ipilimumab. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2017;114(21):E4223-32.
- Wang S, Li L, Shi R,etal. Mast cell targeted chimeric toxin can be developed as an adjunctive therapy in colon cancer treatment. 2016;8(3):71.