The researchers at Mount Sinai have found that a simple blood test called liquid biopsy could be a better indicator of whether cancer immunotherapy will be successful for lung cancer patients than an invasive tumor biopsy procedure. This study was published in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research. The study included the collaboration of experts in radiomics and medical oncology from the United States, Mexico and Italy. The liquid biopsy tests for biomarker of PD-L1 help the patient’s immune system attack and kill cancer cells.
In this study, the researchers showed that testing the blood of patients with lung cancer for PD-L1 biomarker offered more accurate predictions of the response and survival of lung cancer patients as compared to testing for PD-L1 in tissue from lung cancer biopsies. The team collected blood samples from two cohorts of 33 and 24 patients with non-small cell lung cancer. They also included group of 15 patients receiving chemotherapy as controls. The team measured imaging scans of patients’ tumors before treatment and then evaluated them with an innovative imaging technology with the purpose to create a full model for prediction of immunotherapy response.
Christian Rolfo, MD, PhD, MBA, Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Associate Director for Clinical Research in the Center for Thoracic Oncology at The Tisch Cancer Institute, and President of the International Society of Liquid Biopsy said, “These results will have an impact in the search for biomarkers to predict immunotherapy outcome in patients with lung cancer as no truly reliable biomarkers have been found yet.” “If validated in larger prospective cohorts of patients, as we are working on now, this protein could complement or substitute for the tissue PD-L1 as the standard of care in these and other types of tumour patients receiving immunotherapy, especially because it is minimally invasive and can be repetitive during treatment, being able to detect changes in the tumour during the treatment in real-time,” he added.
In this study, the researchers showed that testing the blood of patients with lung cancer for PD-L1 biomarker gave more accurate prediction of survival for lung cancer patients than testing for PD-L1 in tissue from lung cancer biopsies.
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