Immune checkpoint inhibitors in gastrointestinal malignancies: what can we learn from experience with other tumors?

Anand B. Shah, Katelyn R. Sommerer, Khaldoun Almhanna


Gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies are some of the most common cancers worldwide with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Immune checkpoint inhibitors have afforded additional treatment options for patients, but their success has been limited. Conversely, in other tumor types such as lung cancer, melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, treatment strategies with immune checkpoint inhibitors have propelled those agents into the front lines of treatment. Strategies utilized include combining immune checkpoint inhibitors with chemotherapy, other checkpoint inhibitors, and targeted therapy. In this review, we analyze combination strategies employed in other tumor types to help identify current and future approaches toward improving outcomes with immunotherapy in GI malignancies.