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Nobel Prize 2018: Cancer Immunotherapy Collection

T lymphocytes attacking cancer cell

The Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology 2018 was awarded this week to James P. Allison of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.

Allison has been recognised by the Nobel Prize Committee for his work on CTLA-4, a checkpoint protein which inhibits T cells from attacking cancer tumour cells. Honjo discovered the PD-1 protein family, which inhibit T cells from attacking by a different mechanism. Both scientists worked independently on inhibiting these checkpoints, with the ultimate aim of enabling T cells to target and attack cancerous cells. The immunotherapies developed from the discoveries made by Allison and Honjo have shown great potential against many cancers in humans and have caused a veritable revolution in the treatment of cancer. Although there are still hurdles to overcome in developing this knowledge into treatments for different cancer types, this represents one of the largest leaps forward in medical oncology in many years. Their discoveries were the first to win the Nobel prize for an actual therapeutic approach applicable to cancer.

The award is of course the tip of the iceberg; the result of years of work by international teams in academic labs and industry. Honjo and Allison have been working on checkpoint proteins since the 1990s, and teams of researchers across the globe have contributed to advancing our understanding of how to harness the immune system against cancer.

The BSI’s two official journals, Immunology and Clinical & Experimental Immunology, are proud to have published many papers in cancer immunotherapy, many of which focus on the role of CTLA-4 and PD-1 in immunotherapies. These include a review authored by James Allison on co‐stimulatory agonists and co‐inhibitory antagonists and a paper by Tasuku Honjo addressing the regulation of B‐1 cell activation and its autoantibody production by Lyn kinase‐regulated signallings.

The papers in this collection are available to read for free below.

By James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo

Cancer immunotherapy: co‐stimulatory agonists and co‐inhibitory antagonists
Peggs, K. S., Quezada, S. A. and Allison, J. P. (2009)
Clinical & Experimental Immunology, 157: 9-19. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2009.03912.x
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Regulation of B‐1 cell activation and its autoantibody production by Lyn kinase‐regulated signallings
Ochi, H., Takeshita, H., Suda, T., Nisitani, S., Honjo, T. and Watanabe, T. (1999)
Immunology, 98: 595-603. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2567.1999.00899.x
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More cancer immunotherapy in Immunology and Clinical & Experimental Immunology

Immune checkpoint inhibitors: new strategies to checkmate cancer
Wilson, R. A., Evans, T. R., Fraser, A. R. and Nibbs, R. J. (2018)
Clin Exp Immunol, 191: 133-148. doi:10.1111/cei.13081
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ImmTAC/Anti‐PD‐1 antibody combination to enhance killing of cancer cells by reversing regulatory T‐cell‐mediated immunosuppression
Zhang, H., Li, Y., Liu, X., Liang, Z., Yan, M., Liu, Q., Chen, A., Bao, Y., Zhou, C., Li, S., Yee, C. and Li, Y. (2018)
Immunology, 155: 238-250. doi:10.1111/imm.12954
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Separation of plasma‐derived exosomes into CD3(+) and CD3(–) fractions allows for association of immune cell and tumour cell markers with disease activity in HNSCC patients
Theodoraki, M., Hoffmann, T. K. and Whiteside, T. L. (2018)
Clin Exp Immunol, 192: 271-283. doi:10.1111/cei.13113
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Nature of tumour rejection antigens in ovarian cancer
Want, M. Y., Lugade, A. A., Battaglia, S. and Odunsi, K. (2018)
Immunology, 155: 202-210. doi:10.1111/imm.12951
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In‐vitro effect of pembrolizumab on different T regulatory cell subsets
Toor, S. M., Syed Khaja, A. S., Alkurd, I. and Elkord, E. (2018)
Clin Exp Immunol, 191: 189-197. doi:10.1111/cei.13060
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Mapping the tumour human leukocyte antigen (HLA) ligandome by mass spectrometry
Freudenmann, L. K., Marcu, A. and Stevanović, S. (2018)
Immunology, 154: 331-345. doi:10.1111/imm.12936
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The opposing roles of CD4+ T cells in anti‐tumour immunity
Ahrends, T. and Borst, J. (2018)
Immunology, 154: 582-592. doi:10.1111/imm.12941
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Immune correlates of clinical outcome in melanoma
Pawelec, G. (2018)
Immunology, 153: 415-422. doi:10.1111/imm.12870
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Programmed death‐1 ligands 1 and 2 expression in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and their relationship with tumour‐ infiltrating dendritic cells
Jiao, Q., Liu, C., Li, W., Li, W., Fang, F., Qian, Q. and Zhang, X. (2017)
Clin Exp Immunol, 188: 420-429. doi:10.1111/cei.12921
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Tools to define the melanoma‐associated immunopeptidome
Bräunlein, E. and Krackhardt, A. M. (2017)
Immunology, 152: 536-544. doi:10.1111/imm.12803
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PD‐1/PD‐L1 inhibitors in haematological malignancies: update 2017
Jelinek, T., Mihalyova, J., Kascak, M., Duras, J. and Hajek, R. (2017)
Immunology, 152: 357-371. doi:10.1111/imm.12788
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Interleukin‐2 reverses CD8+ T cell exhaustion in clinical malignant pleural effusion of lung cancer
Hu, C. Y., Zhang, Y. H., Wang, T., Chen, L., Gong, Z. H., Wan, Y. S., Li, Q. J., Li, Y. S. and Zhu, B. (2016)
Clin Exp Immunol, 186: 106-114. doi:10.1111/cei.12845
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Soluble and membrane‐bound interleukin (IL)‐15 Rα/IL‐15 complexes mediate proliferation of high‐avidity central memory CD8+ T cells for adoptive immunotherapy of cancer and infections
Hasan, A. N., Selvakumar, A., Shabrova, E., Liu, X., Afridi, F., Heller, G., Riviere, I., Sadelain, M., Dupont, B. and O'Reilly, R. J. (2016)
Clin Exp Immunol, 186: 249-265. doi:10.1111/cei.12816
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Functional exhaustion of CD4+ T cells induced by co‐stimulatory signals from myeloid leukaemia cells
Ozkazanc, D., Yoyen‐Ermis, D., Tavukcuoglu, E., Buyukasik, Y. and Esendagli, G. (2016)
Immunology, 149: 460-471. doi:10.1111/imm.12665
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