Trial Watch—Immunostimulation with cytokines in cancer therapy
Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
Molecular Targeted Therapy
During the past decade, great efforts have been dedicated to the development of clinically relevant interventions that would trigger potent (and hence potentially curative) anticancer immune responses. Indeed, developing neoplasms normally establish local and systemic immunosuppressive networks that inhibit tumor-targeting immune effector cells, be them natural or elicited by (immuno)therapy. One possible approach to boost anticancer immunity consists in the (generally systemic) administration of recombinant immunostimulatory cytokines. In a limited number of oncological indications, immunostimulatory cytokines mediate clinical activity as standalone immunotherapeutic interventions. Most often, however, immunostimulatory cytokines are employed as immunological adjuvants, i.e., to unleash the immunogenic potential of other immunotherapeutic agents, like tumor-targeting vaccines and checkpoint blockers. Here, we discuss recent preclinical and clinical advances in the use of some cytokines as immunostimulatory agents in oncological indications.