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Mechanisms of Primary and Secondary Resistance to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Cancer

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPis) have revolutionized cancer therapy with broad activities against a wide range of malignancies. However, in many malignancies their efficacy remains limited due to the primary resistance. Furthermore, a high percentage of patients develop progression due to the secondary resistance even after obtaining a response or achieving a stable disease. In this review, we will discuss the mechanisms that underlie the primary and secondary resistance to ICPis in cancer immunotherapy and provide an overview to impart a broad understanding of the critical issues that are encountered in clinical oncology practice.

Authors: Seto T; Sam D; Pan M

Med Sci (Basel). 2019 Jan 22;7(2). Epub 2019-01-22.

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