The revolution of immuno-oncology therapy: review of immune checkpoint inhibitors efficacy & specificities for the physicians
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Immunotherapy represents a major paradigm shift, as the treatment no longer directly targets tumor cells, but the patient him/herself, in order to restore an effective anti-tumor immunity. This article illustrates the growing place of immune checkpoint inhibitors in the available therapeutic options, by focusing on two cancers with poor outcome: metastatic melanoma and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), against which Immune checkpoints inhibitors now occupy a central place. Many questions remain unresolved, such as the search for markers predicting a good response to treatment, which would allow the selection of responder patients. Numerous trials are in progress, evaluating the relevance of these new molecules at earlier stages of the disease (adjuvant and neoadjuvant strategies) and their place in combined strategies (associated with chemotherapy, targeted therapies, and other types of immunotherapy).
The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors has revolutionized the treatment and prognosis of many cancer patients. Associated with the raise of these new treatments, new side effects have been observed, requiring specific management. In addition, the tumor evolution and its monitoring under immunotherapy differ from conventional treatments, and require an adaptation of the radiological criteria for tumor lesions monitoring. Many other therapeutic targets exist and could potentially be associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Many challenges still need to be overcome in order to better understand and optimize the use of these new molecules.