Cancer is one of the most threatening and prevalent diseases. Challenges regarding health are accelerating day by day because mortality rates are far above the ground across the world1. Cancer has listed on top to cause deaths in the 21st century, extensively in developed countries2,3. Only in the United States, it is estimated that almost 50,000 people will die due to this deadly culprit and nearly 135,000 new patients will be diagnosed with cancer4. Tens of millions of people are diagnosed with cancer every year around the globe and more than half of the patients ultimately expire 5.
Environmental factors are the major reasons to cause mutations in gene which contributes to 90-95% of cancer cases while, 5-10% ailments occur because of inherited genetic alterations6. Because of advancement in scientists’ knowledge about the immune system, small molecules, peptides, recombinant antibodies, vaccines as well as cellular therapeutic modalities are being utilized to manipulate the immune system to treat cancer. At present, immunotherapies have confirmed their potential to exhibit extraordinary benefits against cancer7. The recent clinical successes in cancer immunotherapies, such as immune checkpoint blockade, have reaffirmed the importance of the host immune system in preventing and eliminating malignancies8. The major objective of cancer immunotherapy is to boost up the anti-cancer immune response against tumors9. Cancer immunotherapy, is also termed as immune-oncology, which persuades the patient’s own immune system10 and increase the robustness of power associated with immune system for cancer treatment11.
Immunotherapy takes many forms in cancer treatment, including the adoptive transfer of ex vivo activated T cells, oncolytic viruses, natural killer cells, cancer vaccines and administration of antibodies or recombinant proteins. Cancer immunotherapy mainly contains the treatments for programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), programmed death 1 (PD-1), chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4).
A review was performed to study mechanisms and latest approaches to cancer immunotherapy; which showed that immune checkpoint inhibitors and antiangiogenic drugs are extensively prescribed and are under observation to treat solid tumor management. This review also recognized the top listed immunotherapies that are gaining attention in ongoing clinical translational experiments for specific types of cancer. It was also observed that combination strategies, due to their synergistic anti-cancer activity are more effective for the treatment of advanced types of cancer. Huge efforts are needed to establish and develop this field including development of predictive biomarkers to enhance the competition among manufacturer companies, which will ultimately control the costs associated with treatment of this ailment in the future.
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