The aim of immunotherapies is to enable the immune system once again to fight cancer on its own. Drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors are already in clinical use for this purpose. However, they are only effective in about one third of patients. Based on analysis of human tissue samples, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now discovered one reason why this is so: an inactive receptor in cancer cells prevents the drugs from reactivating the immune system.
Image: Andreas Heddergott / TUM