Cancer Immunotherapy: A Focus on the Regulation of Immune Checkpoints

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 May 7;19(5):1389. doi: 10.3390/ijms19051389.


In recent years, the role of cancer immunotherapy has become increasingly important compared to traditional cancer treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Of note, the clinical successes of immune checkpoint blockade, such as PD-1 and CTLA-4, represent a landmark event in cancer immunotherapy development. Therefore, further exploration of how immune checkpoints are regulated in the tumor microenvironment will provide key insights into checkpoint blockade therapy. In this review, we discuss in details about the regulation of immune checkpoints mediated by immune cells, oncolytic viruses, epigenetics, and gut microbiota and mutual regulation by co-expressed checkpoints. Finally, predictions are made for future personalized cancer immunotherapy based on different checkpoint modulations.

Keywords: gut microbiota; immune checkpoint regulation; oncolytic viruses; personalized cancer immunotherapy; tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Oncolytic Virotherapy / methods
  • Oncolytic Viruses / immunology
  • Precision Medicine / methods
  • Tumor Microenvironment