What is the role of programmed cell death (PD-1) inhibitors in the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) therapy?

Updated: Jun 05, 2020
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Immune check point inhibitors such as programmed cell death (PD-1) inhibitors have gained increasing importance in cancer therapy. PD-1 is expressed on the surface of activated CD8+ T cells, and cancers that express PD-1 ligand (PDL-1) can inactivate these T cells and thus avoid attack by them. PD-1 inhibitors bind to PD-1, preventing the interaction with PD-1 ligand but not inactivating the T cell, so the T cells maintain their ability to target the cancer cells.


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