Current and developing immunotherapy in gastric adenocarcinoma

Akhil Chawla, Jia Wei, Jiping Wang


Gastric cancer (GC) is an immunogenic tumor, evidenced by the observation that GC harnesses an immune response. Various strategies are being utilized to not only enhance tumor specific immune responses but also to block inhibitory costimulatory receptors and stimulate a diminished response reflective of an immune suppressive microenvironment. Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) is the process by which immune cells are harvested from a patient and expanded ex vivo with tumor specificity, subsequently to be returned to the patient as immunotherapy. The use of ACT and cancer vaccines as immunotherapies are designed to elicit an enhanced antigen-specific T-cell response. In addition, checkpoint blockade therapy has recently gained popularity as an effective immunotherapy in numerous cancer types. Mechanistically, this class of therapy works by blocking the co-inhibitory receptors that cancer cells express to suppress the immune response. In this review, we highlight the major categories of immunotherapy that are currently being investigated clinically in gastric cancer. Furthermore, we highlight the current ongoing clinical trials for each therapy subtype.