Pushing Past the Blockade: Advancements in T Cell-Based Cancer Immunotherapies.
Successful cancer immunotherapies rely on a replete and functional immune compartment. Within the immune compartment, T cells are often the effector arm of immune-based strategies due to their potent cytotoxic capabilities. However, many tumors have evolved a variety of mechanisms to evade T cell-mediated killing. Thus, while many T cell-based immunotherapies, such as immune checkpoint inhibition (ICI) and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, have achieved considerable success in some solid cancers and hematological malignancies, these therapies often fail in solid tumors due to tumor-imposed T cell dysfunctions. These dysfunctional mechanisms broadly include reduced T cell access into and identification of tumors, as well as an overall immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that elicits T cell exhaustion. Therefore, novel, rational approaches are necessary to overcome the barriers to T cell function elicited by solid tumors. In this review, we will provide an overview of conventional immunotherapeutic strategies and the various barriers to T cell anti-tumor function encountered in solid tumors that lead to resistance. We will also explore a sampling of emerging strategies specifically aimed to bypass these tumor-imposed boundaries to T cell-based immunotherapies.
Waibl Polania, J; Lerner, EC; Wilkinson, DS; Hoyt-Miggelbrink, A; Fecci, PE
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