Cancer immunotherapy: the checkpoint between chronic colitis and colorectal cancer

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Ephraim, Ramya, Feehan, Jack ORCID: 0000-0002-9627-1299, Fraser, Sarah ORCID: 0000-0003-1018-5865, Nurgali, Kulmira ORCID: 0000-0002-2597-6929 and Apostolopoulos, Vasso ORCID: 0000-0001-6788-2771 (2022) Cancer immunotherapy: the checkpoint between chronic colitis and colorectal cancer. Cancers, 14 (24). ISSN 2072-6694


Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a group of diseases that cause intestinal inflammation and lesions because of an abnormal immune response to host gut microflora. Corticosteroids, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics are often used to reduce non-specific inflammation and relapse rates; however, such treatments are ineffective over time. Patients with chronic colitis are more susceptible to developing colorectal cancer, especially those with a longer duration of colitis. There is often a limit in using chemotherapy due to side effects, leading to reduced efficacy, leaving an urgent need to improve treatments and identify new therapeutic targets. Cancer immunotherapy has made significant advances in recent years and is mainly categorized as cancer vaccines, adoptive cellular immunotherapy, or immune checkpoint blockade therapies. Checkpoint markers are expressed on cancer cells to evade the immune system, and as a result checkpoint inhibitors have transformed cancer treatment in the last 5–10 years. Immune checkpoint inhibitors have produced long-lasting clinical responses in both single and combination therapies. Winnie mice are a viable model of spontaneous chronic colitis with immune responses like human IBD. Determining the expression levels of checkpoint markers in tissues from these mice will provide insights into disease initiation, progression, and cancer. Such information will lead to identification of novel checkpoint markers and the development of treatments with or without immune checkpoint inhibitors or vaccines to slow or stop disease progression.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/cancers14246131
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3204 Immunology
Current > Division/Research > Australian Institute of Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS)
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords immunology, inflammatory bowel disease, IBD, colitis, chronic illness, cancer, colon cancer
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