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The Rapidly Changing Landscape in RCC Therapy: What Future Research May Hold

Bradley Carthon, MD, PhD
Published: Wednesday, Oct 24, 2018

Modern research beyond cytokine therapy has elucidated the various immune cells—including T cells, dendritic cells and natural killer (NK) cells—within renal cell tumors.16 In patients with RCC, there is the potential for a specific antitumor immune response and susceptibility to immune attack.23 The immune system modulates the activating and repressive signals that mediate surveillance of foreign antigens and a T-cell response to tumors.24 Tumor antigen-specific T cells have been isolated in peripheral blood of patients with RCC.25,26

Future Directions

Over the last several years, immunotherapy research has focused on inhibition of common targets within the tumor microenvironment.27 Researchers are also looking at additional activating and inhibiting signals that modulate T-cell responses. Further, investigators are exploring ways that tumor cells develop to avoid being recognized and killed by an immune response. This includes altering antigens, warding off natural killer (NK) cells through factors that suppress immunity, and alerting immune checkpoints that would otherwise recognize the tumor as a foreign body.16,28-30


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