Different immunotherapeutic approaches have proved to be of significant clinical value to many patients with different types of advanced cancer. However, we need more precise immunotherapies and predictive biomarkers to increase the successful response rates. The advent of next generation sequencing technologies and their applications in immuno-oncology has helped us tremendously towards this aim. We are now moving towards the realization of personalized medicine, thus, significantly increasing our expectations for a more successful management of the disease. Here, we discuss the current immunotherapeutic approaches against cancer, including immune checkpoint blockade with an emphasis on anti-PD-L1 and anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibodies. We also analyze a growing list of other co-inhibitory and co-stimulatory markers and emphasize the mechanism of action of the principal pathway for each of these, as well as on drugs that either have been FDA-approved or are under clinical investigation. We further discuss recent advances in other immunotherapies, including cytokine therapy, adoptive cell transfer therapy and therapeutic vaccines. We finally discuss the modulation of gut microbiota composition and response to immunotherapy, as well as how tumor-intrinsic factors and immunological processes influence the mutational and epigenetic landscape of progressing tumors and response to immunotherapy but also how immunotherapeutic intervention influences the landscape of cancer neoepitopes and tumor immunoediting.
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