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Special issue of clinical pharmacology: advances and applications in new protein therapeutics modulating tumor immunity

Authors Frankel AE

Received 8 October 2013

Accepted for publication 8 October 2013

Published 26 November 2013 Volume 2013:5(Supplement 1) Pages 1—3

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CPAA.S55613


Arthur E Frankel

Department of Internal Medicine, Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA

Until recent decades, the role of the immune system in harnessing tumor growth was based on anecdotal observations of increased cancers in immune-compromised patients, the benefits of graft-versus-leukemia in allogeneic stem cell transplants, and the limited but reproducible anticancer activity of several lymphokines, including interferon and interleukin (IL)-2. Vaccine studies and infusions of "activated" lymphocytes yielded variable clinical responses and disease control. An improved understanding of the molecular and cell mechanisms of the innate and adaptive immune system in cancer-bearing animals and the discovery of an immune-suppressive tumor microenvironment then led to development and testing of a battery of new drug and cell-based approaches to trigger antitumor immunity. This issue of Clinical Pharmacology: Advances and Applications highlights some of the new protein-based compounds that are radically changing the cancer therapeutic landscape. The purpose of this collection of reviews is to inform the readership regarding the importance of the seismic change in cancer therapeutics and stimulate efforts to find novel niches and combinations of agents similar to recent advances in the application of cancer pathway inhibitors.

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