The effect of chemotherapy on programmed cell death 1/programmed cell death 1 ligand axis: some chemotherapeutical drugs may finally work through immune response

Min Luo and Liwu Fu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:29794-29803. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7631

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Min Luo1 and Liwu Fu1

1 State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangdong Esophageal Cancer Institute, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China

Correspondence to:

Liwu Fu, email:

Keywords: programmed cell death 1, programmed cell death 1 ligand, chemotherapy, immunotherapy

Received: October 30, 2015 Accepted: February 15, 2016 Published: February 23, 2016


Most tumors are immunogenic which would trigger some immune response. Chemotherapy also has immune potentiating mechanisms of action. But it is unknown whether the immune response is associated with the efficacy of chemotherapy and the development of chemoresistance. Recently, there is a growing interest in immunotherapy, among which the co-inhibitory molecules, programmed cell death 1/programmed cell death 1 ligand (PD-1/PD-L1) leads to immune evasion. Since some reports showed that conventional chemotherapeutics can induce the expression of PD-L1, we try to summarize the effect of chemotherapy on PD-1/PD-L1 axis and some potential molecules relevant to PD-1/PD-L1 in chemoresistance in this review.

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