PD-1:PD:-L1 immune checkpoint pathway targeting immunotherapies have shown great potential for many cancer patients. Recently, The FDA has granted accelerated approval to the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda® – humanized monoclonal IgG4 antibody against human cell surface receptor PD-1) for use in some patients with advanced gastric stomach cancer (see NIH-NCI news). However, response to these treatments is not guaranteed for each patient. With the complexity of the immune system and tumour microenvironment, providing more physiological outcomes for immunotherapies is necessary. Biochemical assays alone cannot consider the functionality of the whole cell signalling pathway. Complementing them with cell-based assays provides a comprehensive approach for identifying and developing new and improved immunotherapy treatments. Cellular line engineering has simplified and accelerated the development of such immunoassays. Targets have been chosen from both immune activators and suppressors with the aim of obtaining precise control of the immune system.
BPS Bioscience have engineered 6 cellular lines, turning them into cell-based reporter assays for Human Immune Checkpoint research. I’d like to present a summary of how each cellular line functions.