IMA901 for metastatic renal cell carcinoma in the context of new approaches to immunotherapy

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The promising option of immunotherapy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma has evolved from rather unspecific approaches to a specific activation of an anti-tumor T-cell response. The latest step is a synthetic peptide vaccine called IMA901, which demonstrated a clear association between a provoked T-cell response and a prolonged overall survival. The results of IMA901 for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma are discussed together with new approaches to immunotherapy, such as local and systemic immunomodulation with adjuvants, checkpoint inhibitors, classical chemotherapeutics, such as cyclophosphamide or tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The capability of theses substances to modulate leukocytes subsets, such as myeloid-derived suppressor cells, Tregs or Th17 cells, are outlined together with the possibility to combine them with tumor vaccination strategies to achieve a higher cancer specificity and immunogenicity.

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