Unleashing the immune response against childhood solid cancers

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Tumor immunotherapy has come to the fore fuelled by impressive clinical responses to checkpoint inhibitor antibodies in a range of adult malignancies and by the success of chimeric antigen receptor T cells targeting adult and pediatric B-cell malignancies. Clearly, if appropriately fine-tuned, the immune system has the capability to seek out and destroy cancer. Studies in pediatric solid cancers so far have not shown the therapeutic potential checkpoint inhibitors described in adult cancers and this may reflect fewer tumor-associated antigens or different immune evasion mechanisms. One potential approach to overcome these limitations will be to combine interventions to undermine immune evasion mechanisms with engineered T-cell adoptive transfer.

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