Published online Dec 21, 2018. doi: 10.5411/wji.v8.i1.1
Peer-review started: August 30, 2018
First decision: October 22, 2018
Revised: November 10, 2018
Accepted: November 29, 2018
Article in press: November 29, 2018
Published online: December 21, 2018
Core tip: The major functions of immune checkpoint receptors are to maintain self-tolerance, prevent immunopathology, and regulate overall immune homeostasis. However, skewed activation of these receptors by cancer cells may lead to suppression of nascent anti-tumor immunity and promote tumor cell growth. Clinical studies have demonstrated that blocking inhibitory immune checkpoint receptors induced durable clinical responses and unprecedented therapeutic benefits in multiple types of malignancies. The present editorial addresses some of the major immune checkpoint receptor targets in cancer immunotherapy, discusses some of the side effects and limitations in their utilization, and highlights some of the future challenges in the field.