Immune modulation in cancer with antibodies

Annu Rev Med. 2014;65:185-202. doi: 10.1146/annurev-med-092012-112807. Epub 2013 Oct 30.


Ipilimumab is the prototypical immunomodulatory antibody, approved by the FDA in 2011 for advanced melanoma on the basis of survival benefit. Since that time, we have made significant strides in optimizing this therapy: we have characterized the spectrum of immune-related adverse events and learned how to mitigate them with treatment algorithms, discovered potential biomarkers of activity, and identified the potential synergy between checkpoint modulation and other therapeutic modalities. Recent phase I trials have established the efficacy and safety of next-generation checkpoint agents, including PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors, across multiple tumor types. Much work lies ahead in developing these next-generation checkpoint agents, testing them in combination, and determining how to integrate them into the treatment paradigms of various tumor types.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • B7-H1 Antigen / antagonists & inhibitors
  • CTLA-4 Antigen / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Ipilimumab
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Melanoma / immunology
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Nivolumab
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • CD274 protein, human
  • CTLA-4 Antigen
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Ipilimumab
  • PDCD1 protein, human
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor
  • Nivolumab
  • tremelimumab