Blocking tumor escape in hematologic malignancies: The anti-PD-1 strategy

Locke J. Bryan, Leo I. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Immunotherapy remains an important tool for treatment of hematologic malignancies. The Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint pathway has emerged as a mechanism of tumor evasion from the anti-tumor immune response. The recent development of anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies has offered a targeted approach to cancer therapy. Several agents are in various stages of development and have shown clinical responses across a broad spectrum of both solid and hematologic malignancies. The use of anti-PD-1 therapy in hematologic malignancies is limited but has demonstrated clinical responses in relapsed/refractory disease following multiple lines of therapy. PD-1 blockade may reduce relapse rates for patients who fail to obtain a complete remission prior to autologous hematopoietic cell transplant. The role of the PD-1 pathway for tumor escape is reviewed. We explore the use of anti-PD-1 therapy in hematologic malignancies. The proposed mechanism of PD-1 blockade as a modulator of the innate and acquired immune response is considered. Finally, the challenges of anti-PD-1 therapy and the future direction of investigation in this area are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalBlood Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Hematologic malignancies
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Monoclonal antibody
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)
  • Plasma cell myeloma (PCM)
  • Programmed Death-1 (PD-1)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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