March 2015, Vol. 2, No. 2

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The Reach of Immunotherapy: Focus on Glioblastoma

Sanjiv S. Agarwala, MD

Letter to Our Readers

Dear Colleague,

In the new era of personalized treatment for patients battling cancer, the topic of immunotherapy is front and center in our discussions. The possibility of harnessing the power of our own immune system to combat cancer has captivated the imagination of researchers, clinicians, and the public alike. The science behind it is fascinating, the appeal of empowering the natural mission of the body’s immune response is overwhelmingly positive, and the commercialization of products that have the potential to be the new blockbuster drugs excites.

Immunotherapy in Oncology (ITO) exists to explore all of these facets of immunotherapy: the science, the utilization, and the marketplace. We are tremendously excited about the forthcoming options immunotherapeutic agents offer our patients, and we realize how challenging it is for clinicians to stay abreast of the tsunami of information coming from these research efforts. To this end, we are devoted to bringing you timely and relevant information in the hope that its dissemination will bring lifesaving information to those who can employ its strategies for the benefit of patients fighting cancer.

In the current issue, we are pleased to offer a special focus on glioblastomas. In a series of 4 articles, we explore the background of this disease to include current therapies and the need for new treatments, a genetic mutation target for immunotherapy, an update on vaccines, and information about immune checkpoint blockade in glioblastomas.

Of note, ITO, along with our sister publication Personalized Medicine in Oncology, recently presented our Innovator of the Year Award to immunologist James Allison, PhD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center for his astounding work in the field. Our publisher had the pleasure of interviewing Dr Allison about the progress being made in this exciting field. To view the interview, please visit us at

As always, thank you for your participation in our reading community. It is my great pleasure to serve you as the Editor in Chief.


Sanjiv S. Agarwala, MD
Editor in Chief
Immunotherapy in Oncology

Uncategorized - March 17, 2015

PD-L1 Inhibitor Pembrolizumab Produces Good Responses in Advanced Gastric Cancer

Add gastric cancer to the list of cancers that respond to immunotherapy. In patients with advanced gastric cancer who express programmed cell death (PD)-1 ligand 1 (PD-L1), the humanized monoclonal antibody pembrolizumab demonstrated robust antitumor activity and an acceptable safety profile, according to updated results presented at the 2015 Gastrointestinal [ Read More ]

Immune Checkpoint Blockade - March 17, 2015

Exploring Immune Checkpoint Blockade for Glioblastoma

The blockade of immune checkpoints is among the most promising approaches to activating therapeutic antitumor immunity Immune “checkpoints” refer to the numerous negative immunologic regulators (inhibitory pathways) that are crucial for maintaining self-tolerance (ie, the prevention of autoimmunity) and modulating the immune responses in peripheral tissues.1 Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated antigen 4 [ Read More ]