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Immuno-oncologic Approach to Musculoskeletal Tumors

Ibe, Izuchukwu, MD; Sahlstrom, Adam, BS; Nguyen, Minh N., PhD; Lindskog, Dieter, MD; Friedlaender, Gary E., MD; Lee, Francis Y., MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/BTO.0000000000000305

The landscape of orthopedic oncology is rapidly changing. These changes have been prompted by the stagnation of outcomes in the treatment of bone and soft tissue sarcomas, paving the way for molecular and immunologic treatment options in the management of these malignancies. Immuno-oncologic therapy or immunotherapy has led to improved outcomes for patients with cancer. Immunotherapy involves activating the immune system and an individual’s immune system to combat malignant cells. This method is effective because cancer cells proliferate by evading the immune system while they enlarge and spread to distant sites. Immunotherapy focuses on these methods of evasions, and interrupts these pathways. Prevention of the evasion of a host immune surveillance by the cancel cells inevitably leads to an active immune response against the tumor, decreased tumor burden, improved outcomes or cure. The comprehension of the underlying mechanisms associated with immune therapy is paramount, and an asset to the orthopedist in the treatment of cancer. This understanding will help provide comprehensive care for our patients in this era of precision medicine.

Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Center for Musculoskeletal Care, Yale New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

For reprint requests, or additional information and guidance on the techniques described in the article, please contact Francis Y. Lee, MD, PhD, at or by mail at 47 College Street, New Haven, CT 06520. You may inquire whether the author(s) will agree to phone conferences and/or visits regarding these techniques.

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