Releasing the Brake on the Immune System: The PD-1 Strategy for Hematologic Malignancies

Locke J. Bryan, Leo I Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Manipulation of the immune system as a viable cancer treatment strategy has re-emerged. The programmed death 1 (PD-1) pathway is an important, physiologic immune checkpoint necessary to limit autoimmune processes but co-opted by tumors to suppress the antitumor response and allow tumor escape. Blockade of the PD-1 pathway through the use of PD-1 or PD ligand 1(PD-L1) antibodies releases this brake on the immune response. The anti-PD-1 antibodies have produced encouraging results across a broad range of malignancies. Many hematologic malignancies have usurped the PD-1 pathway. Recent investigations have explored the use of anti-PD-1 therapy in hematologic malignancies, with encouraging results. Incorporation of PD-1 blockade into the treatment algorithms for hematologic malignancies is currently being pursued in multiple active clinical trials. Here we review the data on anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies to date and discuss ongoing and future clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalOncology (Williston Park, N.Y.)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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