New study brings personalized immunotherapy prescriptions a step closer

In a step likely to advance personalised cancer treatment, scientists have for the first time shown in patients that levels of biomarkers are not enough to tell which patients are likely to respond best to immunotherapy.

Instead, clinicians need to understand how immune cells and tumours are interacting within a patient, rather than simply the levels of each associated proteins present, to prescribe the best treatment.

The research team, from the University of Bath’s Centre for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI-Bath) alongside colleagues in Bordeaux, France have published the study in the journal Cancers, as a featured article.

The results validate a quantitative imaging platform used at CTI-Bath which can predict whether a cancer patient would respond to immunotherapy treatment.

Cancers evade detection by the immune system, making themselves invisible to the natural anti-tumour response and actively blocking it. One type of immunotherapy, called immune checkpoint inhibitors, are antibodies that remove the brakes which the tumour has applied to the immune system. This re-activates the patients’ natural anti-cancer response, which then destroys the tumour.

Currently clinicians use commercial methods to determine levels of immune check point regulators (proteins) within patients to evaluate whether immunotherapy is needed.

Source: Read Full Article