Immunotherapy in oncology: Checkpoint inhibition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The advent of immune checkpoint blockade with anti- PD1 and anti-PDL1 antibodies has revolutionized the field of medical oncology and was recently rewarded with the Nobel Price of medicine in 2018 to James Allison and Tasuku Honjo. The discovery that tumor cells inhibit the immune system in order to proliferate is one of the keys to the succes of immune checkpoint blockade. The anti-tumor activity of anti- PD1 and anti-PDL1 indeed depends on the elimination of the inhibitory signals towards the immune cells. Even if only a minority of patients does actually benefit form immunotherapy, the antitumor responses may be maintained for years. Currently the expression of PDL1 in the tumor microenvironment is the best predictive biomarker used in clinical routine. Immunotherapy can cause immune related adverse events that ressemble autoimmune syndromes. Therefore immunotherapy is altering all the aspects of oncology and beyond.

Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)351-354
Number of pages4
JournalRevue Medicale de Bruxelles
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Immunotherapy
  • tumor cells
  • immune system

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