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Yet, clinically apparent cancers still arise in immunocompetent individuals in part as a consequence of cancer-induced immunosuppression. In many individuals, immunosuppression is mediated by cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) and programmed death-1 (PD-1), two immunomodulatory receptors expressed on T cells8, 9. Monoclonal-antibody-based therapies targeting CTLA-4 and/or PD-1 (checkpoint blockade) have yielded significant clinical benefits—including durable responses—to patients with different malignancies10, 11, 12, 13. However, little is known about the identity of the tumour antigens.
Checkpoint blockade therapy alters the functional phenotypes of tumour antigen.