A combination of cancer immunotherapies could save more lives
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The pre-clinical study, published in Clinical Cancer Research, by Dr Sarah Buchan and colleagues, combined antibodies targeting PD-1/PD-L1, a type of immunotherapy known as checkpoint blockade that overcomes the resistance of cancer cells to the immune system, with another antibody against CD27, which kick starts the immune system to find and kill the cancer cells.

Results showed the combination treatment produced up to 60 per cent protection from the cancer compared with 10 per cent protection when only the single treatment was given.

PD-1/L1 antibodies are already given to people with cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer, but the benefit of these antibodies is only seen in a small number of patients. The Southampton scientists suggest that the combination with anti-CD27 will lead to a better response rate.

Professor Aymen Al-Shamkhani, who heads the laboratory in which the study was carried out, said: “Using checkpoint blockade has revolutionised the field of cancer immunotherapy, but it is not enough to simply stop the cancer from evading the immune system, we need to boost the immune system to fight the cancer off. By combining checkpoint blockade with an anti-CD27 antibody, we have been able to show that the two approaches

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