Klin Onkol 2016; 29(Suppl 4): 72-77. DOI: 10.14735/amko20164S72.

Background: Correct function of the immune system depends on close cooperation between stimulation and inhibition signals, which protect an organism from outside microorganisms and other agents, but also protects healthy tissues against possible self-destructing attacks of the immune system. However, the inhibitory mechanisms can be abused by cancer cells that evade immune responses and, in fact, they help develop cancer. Therefore, one of the characteristics of cancer cells is the ability to evade immune recognition. Immunotherapy is a treatment method that stimulates the immune system to fight cancer. The checkpoints of the immune system can be considered as effective and specific therapeutic targets. Programmed cell death signaling pathway (PD-1/PD-L1) is one of the most discussed inhibition pathways in recent years. Blockage of PD-1/PD-L1 interaction restores mechanisms of immune response and increases antitumor immune activity. Monoclonal antibodies blocking PD-1 receptor or its ligand PD-L1 have already shown clinical efficacy. However, it is important to carry out research to explore the mechanisms of PD-1/PD-L1 pathway to find new factors, which influence its activity and, of course, to illuminate the variability of this pathway which naturally originates in the diversity of the tumor milieu. Obtained results could be utilized to achieve maximal anticancer effect after inhibition of PD-1/PD-L1 signaling pathway useful in clinical practice. Aim: The aim of the article is to summarize current knowledge about PD-1/PD-L1 signaling pathway and to discuss its role in antitumor immune response.



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