What are checkpoint targets in cancer immunotherapy?

Immune checkpoint molecules can regulate immune system function of human body. Immune checkpoint targets can be stimulatory or inhibitory. Tumors can use these checkpoint targets to protect themselves from immune system attacks. Currently approved checkpoint therapies block inhibitory checkpoint receptors such as PD1 or CTLA4. Blockade of negative feedback signaling to immune cells thus results in an enhanced immune response against tumors.


References & Credits:

1.      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immune_checkpoint

2.      The blockade of immune checkpoints in cancer immunotherapy". Nature Reviews Cancer. 2012; 12 (4): 252–264. 


What are checkpoint inhibitors (modulators) in cancer immunotherapy?

Cancer cells can find ways to use immune checkpoints molecules to avoid being attacked by the immune system. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (or modulators) can help the body immune system recognize and attack cancer cells via targeting the checkpoint molecules.


When programmed-death receptor (PD-1) on the T cell binds to programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) on the tumor cell, the T cell becomes deactivated, allowing the cancer cell to evade immune attack.


Inhibitors of programmed-death receptor (PD-1) and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) can prevent the tumor cell from binding to PD-1, enabling the T cell to remain active and co-ordinate an attack.


References & Credits:

1.      The new era of immune checkpoint inhibitors. The Pharmaceutical Journal. 2014; Nov 28.


How to use the CKTTD database?

In brief, the CKTTD database compiles checkpoint targets and modulators (small-molecules and antibody) in cancer immunotherapy with validated experimental evidences curated from literatures via an enhanced text-mining system. The users can browse all the entities in the ‘Targets’ and ‘Modulators’ section of the front page.