The cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed death 1 (PD-1) immune checkpoints are negative regulators of T-cell immune function. Inhibition of these targets, resulting in increased activation of the immune system, has led to new immunotherapies for melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and other cancers. Ipilimumab, an inhibitor of CTLA-4, is approved for the treatment of advanced or unresectable melanoma. Nivolumab and pembrolizumab, both PD-1 inhibitors, are approved to treat patients with advanced or metastatic melanoma and patients with metastatic, refractory non-small cell lung cancer. In addition the combination of ipilimumab and nivolumab has been approved in patients with BRAF WT metastatic or unresectable melanoma. The roles of CTLA-4 and PD-1 in inhibiting immune responses, including antitumor responses, are largely distinct. CTLA-4 is thought to regulate T-cell proliferation early in an immune response, primarily in lymph nodes, whereas PD-1 suppresses T cells later in an immune response, primarily in peripheral tissues. The clinical profiles of immuno-oncology agents inhibiting these 2 checkpoints may vary based on their mechanistic differences. This article provides an overview of the CTLA-4 and PD-1 pathways and implications of their inhibition in cancer therapy.