Immunotherapy for brain metastases and primary brain tumors

Anna M. Di Giacomo, Maximilian J. Mair, Michele Ceccarelli, Andrea Anichini, Ramy Ibrahim, Michael Weller, Michael Lahn, Alexander M.M. Eggermont, Bernard Fox, Michele Maio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


During the V Siena Immuno-Oncology (IO) Think Tank meeting in 2021, conditions were discussed which favor immunotherapy responses in either primary or secondary brain malignancies. Core elements of these discussions have been reinforced by important publications in 2021 and 2022. In primary brain tumors (such as glioblastoma) current immunotherapies have failed to deliver meaningful clinical benefit. By contrast, brain metastases frequently respond to current immunotherapies. The main differences between both conditions seem to be related to intrinsic factors (e.g., type of driver mutations) and more importantly extrinsic factors, such as the blood brain barrier and immune suppressive microenvironment (e.g., T cell counts, functional differences in T cells, myeloid cells). Future therapeutic interventions may therefore focus on rebalancing the immune cell population in a way which enables the host to respond to current or future immunotherapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Biomarkers
  • Brain metastases
  • CTLA-4
  • Glioblastoma
  • Glioma
  • Immunotherapy
  • PD-1
  • PD-L1


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