Comprehensive analysis of the clinical immuno-oncology landscape

Ann Oncol. 2018 Jan 1;29(1):84-91. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdx755.


Advances from immuno-oncology (IO) are changing the standard of care of many types of cancer, and the paradigm of cancer treatments and drug development is being rewritten on a regular basis. Moreover, an unprecedented number of new investigational agents and companies are entering the field of IO. As such, it has become challenging for oncology physicians conducting clinical trials, industry veterans developing IO drugs, and even regulators reviewing novel IO agents to keep track of the rapidly evolving landscape. To help the key stake holders in the field understand the latest IO landscape, we sought to present an unbiased, neutral, scientifically curated, and timely updated analysis of all the current IO agents in clinical development and the clinical trials testing these agents. We based our analyses on information collected from numerous trusted and publicly available sources. We have developed two databases. One database tracks 2004 IO agents (940 in clinical stage and 1064 in preclinical stage) against 303 targets, from 864 companies; the other tracks 3042 active clinical trials of these agents with a target enrollment of 577 076 patients. This report provides key analyses of these data. Furthermore, we will discuss a number of important and actionable trends in the current IO landscape: a large number of companies developing agents against the same IO targets; a rapid increase in the number of anti-PD-1/L1 combination studies, many of which are testing the same combinations and following inefficient patterns; and a significant increase in the number of small, investigator-initiated studies. For each of the findings, we speculate the causes and discuss a few initiatives that aim to address some of these challenges. Finally, by making these landscape analyses available, we aspire to inform the cancer community as they seek to strive for efficiencies and innovation while avoiding duplication.

Keywords: cancer immunotherapy; clinical trials; immuno-oncology; landscape analysis; tumor immunology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological