Journal: Nature Medicine
Affiliations: 7Go to article
Blood test reveals candidates for cancer immunotherapy
© KTSDESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A blood-based test that measures the number of mutations carried by tumour cells can accurately identify lung cancer patients likely to benefit from immunotherapy.
A team co-led by researchers at two Roche subsidiaries, Genentech and Foundation Medicine, developed an assay that sequences specific genomic segments from tumour DNA found in the bloodstream.
The researchers validated the test on more than 1,000 blood samples collected as part of two large randomized trials involving Roche’s atezolizumab, a drug that helps release the brakes on the anti-tumour immune response, given to patients with non–small-cell lung cancer.
The team found that patients with a high tumour mutational burden, as measured by the blood test, were the most likely to respond favourably to the therapy and live the longest without the disease progressing.
Foundation Medicine hopes to commercialize a version of this diagnostic assay to help personalize cancer treatment for patients.
- Nature Medicine 24, 1441–1448 (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41591-018-0134-3