As the third most common cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, esophageal cancer has a rather worse prognosis treated with current therapy strategies, and a poor 5-year survival rate lower than 15%. Recent years, emerging immunotherapy has showed a gratifying effect in treating other solid tumors which illuminates its usage for esophageal cancers. Immunotherapy for esophageal cancer basically includes adoptive-cell-therapy-based, antibody-based and vaccine-based therapies, and all of which have shown preliminary favorable results in treating esophageal cancer. However, due to the rather lower mutation rate and a tough microenvironment inside the cancer, promising immunotherapies like immune checkpoint blockade drugs, gene-modified-T cell therapies are hindered by the immunosuppressive factors from microenvironment. Future endeavors will be focusing on targeting immunosuppressive factors, combining immunotherapies with classical treatments to create a satisfying effect.
Part of the book: Esophageal Cancer and Beyond