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Current immunotherapy in gastrointestinal malignancies A Review
  1. Dushyant Singh Dahiya1,
  2. Asim Kichloo2,3,
  3. Jagmeet Singh4,5,
  4. Michael Albosta1,
  5. Manidhar Lekkala6
  1. 1Internal Medicine, Central Michigan University, Saginaw, Michigan, USA
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, CMU Medical Education Partners, Saginaw, Michigan, USA
  3. 3Department of Internal Medicine, Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown, New York, USA
  4. 4Internal Medicine, Guthrie Healthcare System, Sayre, Pennsylvania, USA
  5. 5Department of Internal Medicine, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA
  6. 6Hematology and Oncology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Asim Kichloo, CMU Medical Education Partners, Saginaw, MI 48602-5303, USA; kichlooasim{at}


Immunotherapy is an extremely important breakthrough and an exciting new modality of treatment for a wide spectrum of cancers. It is focused around developing agents to stimulate or suppress the immune system, in a specific manner, to fight off a wide spectrum of diseases, particularly cancers. Traditional therapies available for the treatment of cancers include surgical intervention, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of these, which tend to be very non-specific. However, immunotherapy shows a stark difference from conventional therapy, in fact, that it has a high level of specificity for the tumor-specific antigens. The recent success of cancer immunotherapies in clinical trials is slowly revolutionizing the landscape for cancer therapy. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved numerous agents, after clinical trials showed promising results, for the treatment of multiple cancers. The role of immunotherapy in gastrointestinal cancers has also been very promising, particularly in patients with advanced metastatic disease or malignancies refractory to initial treatment. In this review of literature, we detail and discuss the immunotherapy agents approved for the treatment of GI cancers and glance at the future of immunotherapy for patients with these cancers.

  • immunotherapy
  • adoptive

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  • Contributors All authors have contributed to the manuscript and agreed with the final version of the manuscript. The final authorship contribution statement is as follows: DSD and AK are credited with substantial contribution to the design of the work, literature review of all the sections discussed, the revision of critically important intellectual content, final approval of the published version, and agreement of accountability for all aspects of the work. JS and MA are credited with significant design of the tables and graphs, literature review of all sections, revision of important intellectual content for the discussion, and agreement of accountability for all parts of the work. ML is credited with literature review, final content write-up and agreement of accountability for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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