Checkpoint inhibitors do not work well in cancers where there is no underlying immune response. One example of such a non-inflamed tumor is prostate cancer.
So a key question is how do we convert a non-inflamed tumor (where few T Cells present) into an inflamed one (T cells are plentiful and active)?
In this latest episode, using prostate cancer as an example, Dr James Gulley (@gullleyj1) from the National Cancer Institute (pictured below at ASCO 2015) talks about how therapeutic cancer vaccines may achieve this effect.
Giving a cancer vaccine first could make checkpoint inhibitors more effective.