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The ligation of programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) to its ligands PD-L1 and PD-L2 counteracts T-cell activation, which is critical in immune tolerance. The persistent high expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 are also observed on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and various tumor cells, maintaining the highly suppressive microenvironment in tumor sites and promoting tumor malignancies. The blockade of PD-1 axis with PD-L2 fusion protein or monoclonal antibodies against either PD-1 or PD-L1 has been clinically evaluated in various tumor types. This short review summarizes the progress of PD-1 axis blockade in clinical trials to evaluate its effectiveness in the antitumor immunotherapy.
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