Immunomodulatory drugs: a promising clinical ally for cancer immunotherapy

Our team at VIC recently published a review article in the Trends in Molecular Medicine Journal, under the guidance of Dr. Gemechu. Clinical trial data increasingly show that targeted immunotherapies such as antibodies, T-cells and vaccines improve outcomes when delivered in combination with the immunomodulatory drug (IMiD) derivatives lenalidomide or pomalidomide. We review these clinical data to highlight the relevance of IMiDs in combinatorial immunotherapy for both haematological and solid tumours. Further research into the molecular mechanisms of IMiDs and an increased understanding of their immunomodulatory effects may refine the specific applications of IMiDs and improve the design of future clinical trials, moving IMiDs to the forefront of combinatorial cancer immunotherapy. With these areas of focus, over the next decade, we expect IMiDs to become core components of the cancer immunotherapy armamentarium not only for MM but for a range of other tumour types as well.

Targeting metabolic pathways to counter cancer immunotherapy resistance: Trends in Immunology

Our team at VIC recently published an opinion article published in Trends in Immunology Journal under the guidance of Dr. Gemechu. Immunotherapies have revolutionized treatment outcomes for cancer, but many cancers are resistant to such therapies. Cancers have an altered environment compared to healthy tissue, and part of this is due to changes in the metabolism of cancer cells. Recent research has centered on modifying such metabolic pathways combined with cancer immunotherapies. In this opinion piece, we explored the potential pitfalls of current preclinical research and how these can be addressed to accelerate the development of such drugs. We also analyzed the results of published clinical trials and suggested improvements for the methodology of preclinical studies. We hope that in the future, researchers can consider these ideas in their preclinical research, resulting in successful outcomes in clinical trials.