The existence of tumor-specific T cells, as well as their ability to be primed in cancer patients, confirms that the immune response can be deployed to combat cancer. However, there are obstacles that must be overcome to convert the ineffective immune response commonly found in the tumor environment to one that leads to sustained destruction of tumor. Members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily direct diverse immune functions. OX40 and its ligand, OX40L, are key TNF members that augment T-cell expansion, cytokine production, and survival. OX40 signaling also controls regulatory T-cell differentiation and suppressive function. Studies over the past decade have demonstrated that OX40 agonists enhance antitumor immunity in preclinical models using immunogenic tumors; however, treatment of poorly immunogenic tumors has been less successful. Combining strategies that prime tumor-specific T cells together with OX40 signaling could generate and maintain a therapeutic antitumor immune response.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.