Expert review of anticancer therapy 2017 12 15() doi 10.1080/14737140.2018.1417845
Cancer immunotherapies were approved in recent years, including immune checkpoint inhibitors. Experience with ipilimumab (CTLA-4 antagonist), nivolumab and pembrolizumab (PD-1 antagonists), and atezolizumab (PD-L1 antagonist) has shown that the impact on overall survival in cancer patients is paramount. Immune checkpoint inhibitors target the immune system and they can be applied across multiple cancers; the response rate is ranging from 20 to 40%. Many studies have shown that thyroid cancer (TC) cells produce cytokines and chemokines, inducing several tumor-promoting effects. Targeting and/or lowering cytokines and chemokines concentrations within the tumor microenvironment would produce a therapeutic benefit. In TC, increased Treg and PD-1+ T cell frequencies are indicative of aggressive disease and PD-L1 expression correlates with a greater risk of recurrence. Area covered: After performing a literature search, a few pioneering studies have evaluated immunotherapy in thyroid cancer. More recently a case has been described involving anaplastic thyroid cancer treated with vemurafenib and nivolumab, with substantial regression and complete radiographic and clinical remission. Expert Commentary: The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors in aggressive TC has not yet been extensively investigated and further studies in a large number of TC patients are urgently needed.