Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Journal of hematology & oncology


The chemokine receptor CCR7 mediates lymphoid dissemination of many cancers, including lymphomas and epithelial carcinomas, thus representing an attractive therapeutic target. Previous results have highlighted the potential of the anti-CCR7 monoclonal antibodies to inhibit migration in transwell assays. The present study aimed to evaluate the in vivo therapeutic efficacy of an anti-CCR7 antibody in a xenografted human mantle cell lymphoma model.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Cancer, Signal transduction, Lymph node, Types of cancer, Sarcoma, Mantle cell lymphoma


We developed a novel murine monoclonal antibody (mAb) against the C-terminal ╬▒-helix of the human von Willebrand factor A2, designated SZ-179. We showed that SZ-179 inhibited the interactions between VWF and ADAMTS13 and prevented the degradation of high molecular weight VWF multimers. Importantly, SZ-179 reduced the proteolysis of VWF-R1597W mutant by rADAMTS13 dose-dependently under native conditions. Our findings reveal a potential therapeutic target for bleeding disorders.

Concepts: Blood, Monoclonal antibodies, Monoclonal antibody therapy, Von Willebrand factor, Von Willebrand disease, Immunohistochemistry, Bernard-Soulier syndrome, Heyde's syndrome


Inhibitory molecules such as PD-1, CTLA-4, LAG-3, or TIM-3 play a role to keep a balance in immune function. However, many cancers exploit such molecules to escape immune surveillance. Accumulating data support that their functions are dysregulated in lymphoid neoplasms, including plasma cell myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome, and acute myeloid leukemia. In lymphoid neoplasms, aberrations in 9p24.1 (PD-L1, PD-L2, and JAK2 locus), latent Epstein-Barr virus infection, PD-L1 3'-untranslated region disruption, and constitutive JAK-STAT pathway are known mechanisms to induce PD-L1 expression in lymphoma cells. Clinical trials demonstrated that PD-1 blockade is an attractive way to restore host’s immune function in hematological malignancies, particularly classical Hodgkin lymphoma. Numerous clinical trials exploring PD-1 blockade as a single therapy or in combination with other immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with hematologic cancers are under way. Although impressive clinical response is observed with immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with certain cancers, not all patients respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Therefore, to identify best candidates who would have excellent response to checkpoint inhibitors is of utmost importance. Several possible biomarkers are available, but consensus has not been made and pursuit to discover the best biomarker is ongoing.

Concepts: AIDS, Cancer, Bone marrow, Hematology, Leukemia, Lymphoma, Acute myeloid leukemia, Blood disorders


Malignant cells have the capacity to rapidly grow exponentially and spread in part by suppressing, evading, and exploiting the host immune system. Immunotherapy is a form of oncologic treatment directed towards enhancing the host immune system against cancer. In recent years, manipulation of immune checkpoints or pathways has emerged as an important and effective form of immunotherapy. Agents that target cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated molecule-4 (CTLA-4), programmed cell death receptor-1 (PD-1), and programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) are the most widely studied and recognized. Immunotherapy, however, extends beyond immune checkpoint therapy by using new molecules such as chimeric monoclonal antibodies and antibody drug conjugates that target malignant cells and promote their destruction. Genetically modified T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors are able to recognize specific antigens on cancer cells and subsequently activate the immune system. Native or genetically modified viruses with oncolytic activity are of great interest as, besides destroying malignant cells, they can increase anti-tumor activity in response to the release of new antigens and danger signals as a result of infection and tumor cell lysis. Vaccines are also being explored, either in the form of autologous or allogenic tumor peptide antigens, genetically modified dendritic cells that express tumor peptides, or even in the use of RNA, DNA, bacteria, or virus as vectors of specific tumor markers. Most of these agents are yet under development, but they promise to be important options to boost the host immune system to control and eliminate malignancy. In this review, we have provided detailed discussion of different forms of immunotherapy agents other than checkpoint-modifying drugs. The specific focus of this manuscript is to include first-in-human phase I and phase I/II clinical trials intended to allow the identification of those drugs that most likely will continue to develop and possibly join the immunotherapeutic arsenal in a near future.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, DNA, Cancer, Bacteria, Oncology, Immunology, Antigen


Bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) recognize two different epitopes. This dual specificity opens up a wide range of applications, including redirecting T cells to tumor cells, blocking two different signaling pathways simultaneously, dual targeting of different disease mediators, and delivering payloads to targeted sites. The approval of catumaxomab (anti-EpCAM and anti-CD3) and blinatumomab (anti-CD19 and anti-CD3) has become a major milestone in the development of bsAbs. Currently, more than 60 different bsAb formats exist, some of them making their way into the clinical pipeline. This review summarizes diverse formats of bsAbs and their clinical applications and sheds light on strategies to optimize the design of bsAbs.

Concepts: Antibody, Protein, Cancer, Tumor, Bi-specific T-cell engager, Trifunctional antibody


A 31-gene expression profile (GEP) test that provides risk classification of cutaneous melanoma (CM) patients has been validated in several retrospective studies. The objective of the reported study was a prospective evaluation of the GEP performance in patients enrolled in two clinical registries.

Concepts: Evaluation methods, Andrew Martin, Registry


More and more targeted agents become available for B cell malignancies with increasing precision and potency. The first-in-class Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, ibrutinib, has been in clinical use for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, mantle cell lymphoma, and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. More selective BTK inhibitors (ACP-196, ONO/GS-4059, BGB-3111, CC-292) are being explored. Acalabrutinib (ACP-196) is a novel irreversible second-generation BTK inhibitor that was shown to be more potent and selective than ibrutinib. This review summarized the preclinical research and clinical data of acalabrutinib.

Concepts: Cancer, Signal transduction, B cell, Types of cancer, Hematology, Leukemia, Lymphoma, Blood disorders


Although dendritic cell (DC) vaccines are considered to be promising treatments for advanced cancer, their production and administration is costly and labor-intensive. We developed a novel immunotherapeutic agent that links a single-chain antibody variable fragment (scFv) targeting mesothelin (MSLN), which is overexpressed on ovarian cancer and mesothelioma cells, to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), which is a potent immune activator that stimulates monocytes and DCs, enhances DC aggregation and maturation and improves cross-priming of T cells mediated by DCs.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Protein, Endoplasmic reticulum, Immunology, Tuberculosis, Mycobacterium, Heat shock protein


A microRNA (miRNA) collection on the imprinted 14q32 MEG3 region has been associated with outcome in osteosarcoma. We assessed the clinical utility of this miRNA set and their association with methylation status.

Concepts: Gene


With the advent of new agents targeting CD20, Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, and phosphoinositol-3 kinase for chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL), more treatment options exist than ever before. B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) plays a major role in cellular apoptosis and is a druggable target. Small molecule inhibitors of BCL-2 are in active clinical studies. ABT-199 (venetoclax, RG7601, GDC-0199) has been granted breakthrough designation by FDA for relapsed or refractory CLL with 17p deletion. In this review, we summarized the latest clinical development of ABT-199/venetoclax and other novel agents targeting the BCL-2 proteins.

Concepts: Protein, Clinical trial, Cancer, Signal transduction, Apoptosis, Protein kinase, Leukemia, Bcl-2