Trial watch: Chemotherapy with immunogenic cell death inducers
Reactive Oxygen Species
It is now clear that the immune system plays a critical role not only during oncogenesis and tumor progression, but also as established neoplastic lesions respond to therapy. Selected cytotoxic chemicals can indeed elicit immunogenic cell death, a functionally peculiar type of apoptosis that stimulates tumor-specific cognate immune responses. Such immunogenic chemotherapeutics include cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and oxaliplatin (which are approved by FDA for the treatment of various hematological and solid malignancies), mitoxantrone (which is currently employed both as an anticancer agent and against multiple sclerosis) and patupilone (a microtubular poison in clinical development). One year ago, in the second issue of OncoImmunology, we discussed the scientific rationale behind immunogenic chemotherapy and reviewed the status of recent clinical trials investigating the off-label use of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, oxaliplatin and mitoxantrone in cancer patients. Here, we summarize the latest developments in this area of clinical research, covering both high-impact studies that have been published during the last 13 months and clinical trials that have been initiated in the same period to assess the antineoplastic profile of immunogenic chemotherapeutics.