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Programmed cell death 1 (PDCD1; PD-1; CD279); hepatitis A virus cellular receptor 2 (HAVCR2; TIM3)

In vitro studies suggest combining antibodies against PD-1 and TIM3 could increase patient response to melanoma vaccines. In peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) taken from patients with metastatic melanoma vaccinated with tumor-associated cancer/testis antigen 1B (CTAG1B; NY-ESO-1) peptide, antigen-specific T cell expression of PD-1 and TIM3 was upregulated in about 73% and 18% of cases. In the PBMCs, the NY-ESO-1 peptide plus both anti-PD-1 and anti-TIM3 antibodies showed an additive effect in expanding tumor antigen-specific T cells. Next steps could include testing the antibody combination with cancer vaccines in patients.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Ono Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. have the PD-1 antibody nivolumab in Phase III trials to treat melanoma.
Merck & Co. Inc. has the PD-1 antibody lambrolizumab in Phase III testing for the indication.
At least four other companies have antibodies against PD-1 in Phase II or earlier testing to treat cancers.

SciBX 7(3); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.85
Published online Jan. 23, 2014

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Fourcade, J. et al. Cancer Res.;
published online Dec. 16, 2013;
Contact: Hassane M. Zarour, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa.