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The advent of cancer immunotherapy has radically changed the field of oncology by improving the way many malignancies are being treated with subsequent major improvement of patients’ prognosis. The first crucial and successful step in the field was the development of agents able to inactivate inhibitory immune receptors, resulting in a subsequent increased antitumour response. Among them, antibodies blocking cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4, ipilimumab) and programmed cell death proten-1 (PD-1) and its ligand PD-L1 (nivolumab, pembrolizumab, atezolizumab and durvalumab) are already widely available in clinical practice. More recently, to further improve the ability of the immune system to eliminate cancer cells, several other stimulatory or inhibitory molecules have been recognised as possible targets. ESMO Open has launched a special series of mini reviews aiming to provide an update of the most interesting and upcoming targets in cancer immunotherapy, including LAG3, TIM3, CD40, B7x, OX40, ICOS, VISTA, CD27, CD 137, GITR and neoantigens. All these mini reviews contain information on biological background (ie, what the target is, where it is expressed and what is the physiological role, as well as the expected effect when targeting it), drugs under development for targeting that specific molecule, as well as current ongoing clinical trials with targeted agents (including those in combination with other immune checkpoint inhibitors).
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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