Rethinking the adenosine-A2AR checkpoint: implications for enhancing anti-tumor immunotherapy

Rachel S. Helms, Jonathan D. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Adenosine signaling through A2AR serves as a negative regulator of the immune system. Unique to this suppressive pathway is its ability to impact numerous stromal and immune cells. Additionally, tumors exhibit elevated concentrations of adenosine further advancing the pathway's potential as a powerful target for activating anti-tumor immunity. The promise of this therapeutic strategy has been repeatedly demonstrated in mice, but has so far only yielded limited success in the clinic. Nonetheless, it is notable that many of these observed clinical responses have been in individuals resistant to prior immunotherapy. These observations suggest this pathway is indeed involved in tumor immune evasion. Thus, identifying the disparities between the translational and clinical implementation of this therapy becomes necessary. To this end, this review will revisit how and where adenosine-A2AR signaling regulates the immune system and anti-tumor immunity so as to reveal opportunities for improving the translational success of this immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pharmacology
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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