The immune system is critical in the fight against cancer. The T cells of the immune system are capable of recognizing cells that have become malignant and killing them. In this way, the immune system prevents cancers from occurring. However, the tumor can protect itself from being cleared by the immune system by sending inhibitory signals to the T cells. One of the most notable inhibitory signals used by tumors is PD-L1. PD-L1 is a gene that is upregulated on many types of cancer cells, including ovarian cancer cells. PD-L1 interacts with another molecule, PD-1, which is expressed by T cells. When the PD-1 expressing T cells meet a PD-L1 expressing cancer cell, the T cells become suppressed and do not kill the cancer cells. Drugs that block PD-1 or PD-L1, such as Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and Tecentriq (atezolizumab), are helping to lead a revolution in cancer treatment. These drugs have achieved complete and durable tumor regression for a number of patients with a wide variety of cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, renal cell cancer. They are now being employed in ovarian cancer with some success already reported when used alone or in combination with other cancer fighting drugs.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/17 → …|
- Ovarian Cancer Research Fund