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The Confounders Of Cancer Immunotherapy: Roles Of Lifestyle, Metabolic Disorders And Sociological Factors

Ravindra Pramod Deshpande, Sambad Sharma, Kounosuke Watabe

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Checkpoint blockade immunotherapy (CPI) is an effective treatment option for many types of cancers. Irrespective of its wide clinical implications, the overall efficacy remains unpredictable and even poor in certain pathologies such as breast cancer. Thus, it is imperative to understand the role of factors affecting its responsiveness. In this review, we provide an overview on the involvement of sociological factors, lifestyles and metabolic disorders in modulating the CPI response in patients from multiple malignancies. Lifestyle habits including exercise, and diet promoted therapeutic responsiveness while alcohol consumption mitigated the CPI effect by decreasing mutational burden and hampering antigen presentation by dendritic cells. Metabolic disorder such as obesity was recognized to enhance the PD-1 expression while diabetes and hypertension were consequences of CPI therapy rather than causes. Among the sociologic factors, sex and race positively influenced the CPI effectiveness on account of increased effector T cell activity and increased PD-1 expression while ageing impaired CPI responsiveness by decreasing functional T cell and increased toxicity. The combined effect of these factors was observed for obesity and gender, in which obese males had the most significant effect of CPI. Therefore these variables should be carefully considered before treating patients with CPI for optimal treatment outcome.