Weekly Digests



Host expression of PD-L1 is essential for success of PD-L1 blockade

January 31, 2018

With the success of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapies, the search is on for an understanding of the mechanisms and biomarkers to predict patient response. Lin et al. and Tang et al. tackled this problem head on by examining the role of PD-L1 expression on tumors versus host cells during ICB therapy, and...

Classical monocytes may predict response to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy

January 24, 2018

Anti-PD-1 therapy has been clinically effective against a wide range of cancers, but still only a fraction of patients achieve a durable response. Researchers have been on the hunt for biomarkers that could predict which patients are likely to respond to this therapy, and Krieg et al. may have finally found their mark. The...

Vaccine and anti-CTLA-4 team up against glioma

January 17, 2018

Surgery, a common treatment option for high-grade glioma, is mostly ineffective long term, however, the resected tumor could serve as a source of antigens for the development of personalized vaccines that could improve long-term outcomes. Field et al. had previously created a vaccine comprised of irradiated glioma cells pulsed with the glycolipid α-galactoceramide...

Orphans no more: a new strategy for identifying the antigen targets of TCRs

January 10, 2018

The task of identifying the ligand that stimulates a specific T cell receptor (TCR) is one that has proven incredibly complex due to the vast diversity in the TCR, human leukocyte antigens (HLA), and peptide components. While powerful methods such as mass spectrometry or epitope prediction algorithms can narrow the list of possibilities...

Targeting glioma and sparing the brain: a transgenic TCR approach

January 3, 2018

For children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), current treatment does not offer much hope – median survival is less than 10 months. Chheda et al. aspire to improve this outlook by targeting glioma with immunotherapy. In their paper, published in Journal of Experimental Medicine, the researchers developed a transgenic TCR T cell...