Expert Point of View: Louis M. Weiner, MD

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Commenting on this study, Louis M. Weiner, MD, Director of the Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC, commended this study of a combinatorial immunologic approach.

“Immunology matters when it comes to cancer research. Drugs designed to harness the power of the immune system have meaningful anticancer activity. This recognition has led to the online inauguration of a new AACR journal called Cancer Immunology Research devoted to major advances in the field,” Dr. Weiner said.

Complex Approach

“Dr. Kandalaft’s study involved complex strategies that harness the immune system itself, where the vaccine points the immune system in the direction of the tumor, and then that response can be further expanded through adoptive transfer of T cells educated to attack tumor cells bearing those tumor antigens,” he continued. This work suggests that combination immunotherapies will be developed with more complex approaches to overcome the innate mechanisms of resistance within tumors, Dr. Weiner commented.

“The difference between immunology and tumor immunology is the tumor. Combinatorial strategies are needed to attack cancer. The future of our field will include conventional drugs, and it is time to recognize the importance of immunology as part of anticancer therapies,” he stated. ■

Disclosure: Dr. Weiner reported no potential conflicts of interest.

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