Using the body's inmune system to help fight cancer

AZ Leadership in Immuno-Oncology

The promise of Immuno-Oncology (IO) is based on the knowledge that the immune system is constantly searching for, assessing, and eliminating foreign particles from the body.1,2 Yet, sometimes rogue cells slip past this immune surveillance and become cancers.2 By providing the immune system with tools to both unmask tumours and strengthen the attack, IO empowers the immune system to recognise, react, and regain control.1,3

AstraZeneca’s IO portfolio is anchored by immunotherapies that have been designed to overcome the tumour’s efforts to evade the immune system, such as through the targeted inhibition of immune checkpoints, and through the scientifically driven combination of multiple immune system-stimulating agents, including biologics, small molecules, and chemotherapies.4,5,6

AstraZeneca is an industry leader in the development of biologics and is uniquely positioned to deliver a portfolio of breakthrough IO therapies across different stages of disease and multiple lines of therapy.7

Bringing the Benefit of IO to the Right Patients

Success in IO will hinge on the ability to identify which therapy may be best for each patient. AstraZeneca is leading the field in this area, delivering the first cross-industry data sets to enable the right treatment decisions to be made for patients. This is increasingly important when options include both monotherapy and combinations.8,9


1. Melero I et al. Clinical development of immunostimulatory monoclonal antibodies and opportunities for combination. Clin Cancer Res 2013; 19: 997-100
2. Finn O. Immuno-oncology: understanding the function and dysfunction of the immune system in cancer. Annals of Oncology 23 (Supplement 8): viii6-viii9, 2012 
3. Eggermont A and Finn O. Advances in immuno-oncology. Annals of Oncology 23 (Supplement 8 Foreword): viii5, 2012
4. Durvalumab+/- Tremelimumab in Combination With Platinum Based Chemotherapy in Untreated Extensive-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer (Caspian). Available at Last accessed May 2017
5. Clinical Trials,gov. A Phase I/II Study of MEDI4736 in Combination With Olaparib in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors. (MEDIOLA). Available at: Last accessed May 2017
6. Phase III Open Label First Line Therapy Study of MEDI 4736 (Durvalumab) With or Without Tremelimumab Versus SOC in Non Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). (MYSTIC). Available at: Last accessed May 2017
7. AstraZeneca. Clinical Trials Appendix Q1 2017 Update. 27 April 2017. Available at Last accessed May 2017
8. Antonia S, et al. Safety and antitumor activity of durvalumab plus tremelimumab in non-small cell lung cancer: a multicentre, phase 1b study. Lancet Oncol. 2016;17:299-308.  
9. Patel S and R Kurzrock R. PD-L1 Expression as a Predictive Biomarker in Cancer Immunotherapy. Mol Cancer Ther; 14:  847-856. Published Online First 18 February 2015. doi:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-14-098

Veeva ID: Z4-4934
Date of next review: May 2018