Outlook: Immunotherapy in Gastrointestinal Carcinoma - Innovative Strategies

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Immune checkpoint inhibitors are emerging as a therapeutic approach for patients with advanced or metastatic gastrointestinal malignancies following the recent Food and Drug Administration and Asian approvals for colorectal, gastric, and hepatocellular carcinoma. As discussed in earlier articles, phase I-II trials demonstrate quite positive clinical activity, particularly in patients with immunogenic cancer subtypes. This outreach paper discusses some of the next innovative immunotherapy strategies under development. Here, tumor-associated macrophages, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and regulatory T cells are increasingly coming into focus as new targets. Besides the well described use of checkpoint inhibitors, blockade of ‘Wnt' or Csf1R signaling pathways as well as combinatorial treatment strategies offer promising examples for overcoming immune silencing within the resistant tumor microenvironment.

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