The rational design of immunotherapeutic agents has advanced with a fundamental understanding that both innate and adaptive immunity play important roles in cancer surveillance and tumor destruction; given that oncogenesis occurs and cancer progresses through the growth of tumor cells with low immunogenicity in an increasingly immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. Checkpoint inhibitors in the form of monoclonal antibodies that block cancer’s ability to deactivate and evade the immune system have been widely indicated for a variety of tumor types. Through targeting the biological mechanisms and pathways that cancer cells use to interact with and suppress the immune system, immunotherapeutic agents have achieved success in inhibiting tumor growth while eliciting lesser toxicities, compared to treatments with standard chemotherapy. Development of “precise” bio-active tumor-targeted gene vectors, biotechnologies, and reagents has also advanced. This chapter presents ongoing clinical research involving immune checkpoint inhibitors, while addressing the clinical potential for tumor-targeted gene blockade in combination with tumor-targeted cytokine delivery, in patients with advanced metastatic disease, providing strategic clinical approaches to precision cancer immunotherapy.
Part of the book: Advances in Precision Medicine Oncology