PD-1 antagonist antibody treatment for patients with oesophageal squamous-cell carcinoma
The recent exciting publication by Kudo et al. (Nivolumab treatment for oesophageal squamous-cell carcinoma: an open-label, multicenter, phase 2 trial) (1) has added yet another high mutational load tumor to the list of advanced cancers that benefit from immune check-point inhibition, and provides a greater impetus for clinical trials in these patients. The 1990’s saw several studies out of Japan utilizing the “original” immune check-point inhibitor, Interleukin-2, in new and imaginative ways for patients with advanced esophageal cancer (2-5). An interest in immune activation continues, with strategies to block immune check-points or infuse activated tumor infiltrating lymphocytes following in the footsteps of such pioneering trials. Reports such as this not only give us insight into the potential benefits from this class of antibodies, but also provide an impetus to pursuing other avenues of targeted immune activation.