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Fingolimod and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in checkpoint-inhibitor treated cancer patients

Journal Paper/Review - Aug 17, 2020

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Citation
Hasan Ali O, Hundsberger T, Diem S, Müller S, Pop O, Markert E, Müller J, Moulin A, Ring S, Ackermann C, Berner F, Flatz L. Fingolimod and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in checkpoint-inhibitor treated cancer patients. Cancer Immunol Immunother 2020; 70:563-568.
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Type
Journal Paper/Review (English)
Journal
Cancer Immunol Immunother 2020; 70
Publication Date
Aug 17, 2020
Issn Print
Issn Electronic
1432-0851
Pages
563-568
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Brief description/objective

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are emerging as the new standard of care for treating various metastatic cancers. It is known that effective anti-tumor immune responses are associated with a stronger presence of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in solid tumor tissue. Cancer patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) are often under continuous treatment with fingolimod, an immune-modulating drug that inhibits lymphocyte egress from secondary lymphatic organs. Little is known about the effect of fingolimod on ICI cancer therapy, as fingolimod may limit the number of TILs. Here we present three patients with RRMS, who developed various cancers during fingolimod treatment. Histology of all tumors consistently showed low numbers of TILs. A second biopsy taken from one of the tumors, a melanoma, revealed a significant increase of TILs after stopping fingolimod and starting pembrolizumab, indicating a surge in the number and re-invigoration of T cells. Our study suggests that fingolimod limits the number of TILs in solid tumors and may, thus, inhibit anti-cancer immune responses.