Emerging immunotherapy for the treatment of esophageal cancer

Seung Ju Jackie Oh, Songhee Han, Wooin Lee, Albert Lockhart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Introduction: Esophageal cancer is the third most common cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. Despite new therapies, the prognosis for patients with these cancers remains poor with 5-year survival rates lower than 15%. Recently, immunotherapy has increasingly gained attention as a novel treatment strategy for advanced esophageal cancer. Areas covered: Recent success of immunotherapy in treating other solid tumors has shed light on the utility of these approaches for esophageal cancers. Here, the authors focus on antibody-based, adoptive-cell-therapy-based, and vaccine-based immunotherapies, and briefly address their rationale, clinical data, and implications. Expert opinion: Immunotherapy is now established to be a key treatment modality that can improve the outcomes of many cancer patients and appears to be ushering in a new era in cancer treatment. Checkpoint inhibitor drugs have shown preliminary favorable results in esophageal cancer treatment. Adoptive cell therapy and vaccine studies have also shown some promise in various clinical studies. Future endeavors will need to focus on identifying patients who are likely to benefit from immunotherapy, monitoring and managing immune responses and designing optimal combination strategies where immunotherapy agents are combined with other traditional treatment modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-677
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • adoptive cell therapy
  • antibody
  • cancer vaccine
  • esophageal cancer
  • Immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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