Biomarkers for immunotherapy- what do you look for, and when does it mean what as regards immunotherapy

This is a big thick and tough for the layman but here i8s where we are. We had the era of surgery as cancer’s main treatment and somewhat radiation therapy, then came chemotherapy, now we have immunotherapy which has many shades as well as combining immune therapy with  chemotherapy

In a superb review too “rich” for most layman, the hurdles we face and the promises we can almost grasp of immune therapy as well as other targeted small molecule therapy are discussed. Here is a summary of a much lengthier review

  • Immune-modulating antibodies can potentially change the landscape of therapeutic options for cancer patients within the next decade. With these new therapeutic tools, however, comes the question of how to optimize their use in order to achieve maximal benefit with minimal to no side effects. Biomarkers ( ways to no what to treat with, the odds of a response because of a marker, a flag whose presence says go or no etc  are thus being developed in parallel with the new immune checkpoint molecules.
  • This review article written by Weide and colleagues examines  potential immunologic( things we can measure to know what to shoot when to shoot it did we hit it etc.   such as correlates for the CLTA-4 and PD-1/PD-L1  immunomodulating agents already approved as well as those in development


Hopefully this will help you understand this very well written abstract Dr Ryan


Monoclonal antibodies (Ab) targeting immune checkpoints like CTLA-4 or PD-1 have come of age in the treatment of metastatic melanoma and further approvals are expected for other malignancies like lung and renal cell cancer as well. However, the majority of patients still do not experience clinical benefit upon these therapies. Moreover, immune-related side effects and the costs of these therapies prompt the search for their precise mode of action and for biomarker discovery. Here, we describe different classes of immunologic correlates such as pharmacodynamic changes observed in all treated patients, correlates with response during treatment (surrogate markers) or at the time-point of tumor assessment, as well as predictive markers for response and for immune-related adverse events. This review gives an overview of available data about correlates analyzed in the serum, all in immune cell subsets in the peripheral blood or in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. We will discuss how to prospectively validate and integrate these parameters for routine assessment of patients in daily clinical practice and give an outlook on promising future directions of biomarker research.

Full free access to this article from the June issue of Seminars in Oncology is available:



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