Immunotherapy is a widely used method for treatment of several types of cancers including lung cancer, bladder cancer and more. Immune-based treatments for cancers have raised hope of doctors as well as patients, owing to the benefits they offer. But, a major issue that is being faced by health professionals worldwide is the inability to predict who will benefit from it and who will not. A new research has helped in overcoming this and suggests whether lung cancer patients will benefit from immunotherapy or not.
Biomarkers play a pivotal role in cancer for various reasons. They help clinicians and patients in choosing the best treatment and avoid unnecessary treatments. Immunotherapy drugs are an important step and thus, it is helpful if someone can avoid the potential risk of lung cancer treatment when they know they are unlikely to react. Another factor is the cost involved. The immunotherapeutic drugs are expensive and thus, it is better to get only the ones that are going to be beneficial.
In this study, a group of researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center suggested that a specific pattern or signature of markers on immune cells is a likely biomarker of response to checkpoint immunotherapy. These findings have been published in journal Science Translational Medicine. The researchers have also used patient blood samples to identify the biomarker so as get satisfactory prospect that patients can be evaluated using simple blood draws.
Although the study provided impressive results but limitation of research is retroactive. The data analyzed was from blood samples that were collected years ago. The researchers need to test in prospective studies to ensure that the findings offer benefit to the patients.
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