Response Challenges to Cancer Immunotherapies


Humans have an exquisite immune system that enables them to not only identify and eliminate foreign antigens but also their own cells if they go awry. Cancer cells, through acquiring alterations in their genomes, can harbor slightly modified proteins and expression patterns. These changes can be detected and eliminated by a competent immune system. The immune system can be further assisted in killing rogue cancer cells through the use of immunotherapies. However, despite immunotherapies showing great promise in certain cancers and a subset of patients, these treatments are characterized by high rates of response resistance. Here, a narrative review is presented of the possible mechanisms underpinning resistance to immunotherapies, together with strategies to improve their response rates.