The present study shows that combining immune checkpoint inhibitors either with each other or with other cancer therapies has improved responses in many cases, leading to the approval of various combinations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
This has invited more exploration of combination therapies for cancer.
“Our study revealed that the efficacies of all but one of the combination therapies we analyzed occurred through independent drug action, and not through synergy or additivity,” says first author Adam Palmer, PhD, Harvard Medical School.
“To be clear, we are not suggesting that these combinations are ineffective. We agree that the combinations are clinically effective; what we are proposing is that their effectiveness is through a different mechanism than was previously thought. These findings have important implications for preclinical and clinical research,” says senior and corresponding author Peter Sorger, PhD, a professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School.