J Gynecol Oncol.  2017 Mar;28(2):e20. 10.3802/jgo.2017.28.e20.

Update on immune checkpoint inhibitors in gynecological cancers

  • 1Department of Hematology-Oncology, National University Hospital, Singapore, Singapore. david_sp_tan@nuhs.edu.sg
  • 2Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.


In recent years, progress in our understanding of immune-modulatory signaling pathways in immune cells and the tumor microenvironment (TME) has led to rejuvenated interest in cancer immunotherapy. In particular, immunotherapy targeting the immune checkpoint receptors such as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4), programmed cell-death 1 (PD-1), and programmed cell-death ligand 1 (PD-L1) have demonstrated clinical activity in a wide variety of tumors, including gynecological cancers. This review will focus on the emerging clinical data on the therapeutic role of immune checkpoint inhibitors, and potential strategies to enhance the efficacy of this class of compounds, in the context of gynecological cancers. It is anticipated that future biomarker-directed clinical trials will provide further insights into the mechanisms underlying response and resistance to immunotherapy, and help guide our approach to designing therapeutic combinations that have the potential to enhance the benefit of immunotherapy in patients with gynecologic cancers.


Neoplasms; Tumor Microenvironment; Immunotherapy; Biomarkers

MeSH Terms

Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/therapeutic use
B7-H1 Antigen/*therapeutic use
Biomarkers, Tumor/analysis
CTLA-4 Antigen/*therapeutic use
Genital Neoplasms, Female/*immunology
Tumor Microenvironment/*immunology
Vaccines/therapeutic use
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
B7-H1 Antigen
Biomarkers, Tumor
CTLA-4 Antigen
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