Immunobiology of cancer therapies targeting CD137 and B7-H1/PD-1 cosignal pathways

Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2011;344:245-67. doi: 10.1007/82_2010_81.


Cancer immunotherapy is finally entering a new era with manipulation of cosignaling pathways as a therapeutic approach, for which the principle was proved nearly two decades ago. In addition to CTLA-4, CD137 and B7-H1/PD-1 pathways are two new targets in the stage. CD137 pathway is costimulatory and its agonistic antibody delivers potent signal to drive T cell growth and activation. On the other hand, blockade of B7-H1/PD-1 pathway with antagonistic antibody has shown to protect ongoing T cell responses from impairment by immune evasion mechanism in cancer microenvironment. With these tools in hand, a mechanism-based design of combined immunotherapy with high efficacy is becoming a reality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / physiology*
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / physiology
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 9 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 9 / physiology


  • Antigens, CD
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • CD274 protein, human
  • PDCD1 protein, human
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 9