Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein-4 (CTLA-4) and the Programmed Death Receptor 1 (PD-1) are immune checkpoint molecules that are well-established targets of antibody immunotherapies for the management of malignant melanoma. The monoclonal antibodies, Ipilimumab, Pembrolizumab, and Nivolumab, designed to interfere with T cell inhibitory signals to activate immune responses against tumors, were originally approved as monotherapy. Treatment with a combination of immune checkpoint inhibitors may improve outcomes compared to monotherapy in certain patient groups and these clinical benefits may be derived from unique immune mechanisms of action. However, treatment with checkpoint inhibitor combinations also present significant clinical challenges and increased rates of immune-related adverse events. In this review, we discuss the potential mechanisms attributed to single and combined checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies and clinical experience with their use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-556
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number3
Early online date15 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


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