Immunomodulation for glioblastoma

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Purpose of review

Immunotherapy has emerged as a cornerstone of modern oncology with regulatory approvals for a variety of immunotherapeutics being achieved for a spectrum of cancer indications. Nonetheless the role of these approaches for patients with glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and deadliest primary malignant brain neoplasm, remains unknown. In this review, we summarize the current status of clinical development for the major types of immunotherapeutics, including vaccines, cell-based therapies, and immune checkpoint modulators for GBM. We also highlight potential challenges confronting the development of these agents.

Recent findings

Growing preclinical and clinical data is emerging regarding the potential of immunotherapy strategies for GBM. In parallel, growing data demonstrating that historical dogma classifying the brain as immunoprivileged is inaccurate but that many tumors, including GBM evoke myriad mechanisms to suppress antitumor immune responses.


Ongoing initial trials will provide preliminary data on the role of immunotherapy for GBM patients. Subsequent clinical development steps will likely require rationally designed combinatorial regimens.

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