High systemic and tumor-associated IL-8 correlates with reduced clinical benefit of PD-L1 blockade

Journal: Nature Medicine

Published: 2020-05-11

DOI: 10.1038/s41591-020-0860-1

Affiliations: 6

Authors: 26

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Research Highlight

Chemokine levels predict cancer immunotherapy success

© Douglas Sacha/Getty

© Douglas Sacha/Getty

Cancer patients with higher levels of an inflammatory signalling molecule in their bloodstream tend to respond worse to immune checkpoint-blocking drugs.

The finding — from a team led by scientists at Genentech, a Roche subsidiary — point to blood levels of this signalling molecule, a chemokine called interleukin 8 (IL-8), as an easily measurable biomarker for identifying patients most likely to benefit from immunotherapy. It also suggests that combining checkpoint inhibitors with agents that target IL-8 could boost response rates for many patients.

The researchers analysed blood and tumour samples from more than 1,400 patients with cancers of the kidney and bladder who had received atezolizumab, a Roche drug directed at an immunosuppressive molecule found on tumour cells.

The team also determined the source of the harmful molecule — a population of immune cells known as myeloid cells that both circulate in the blood and accumulate around tumours, where they create a microenvironment that suppresses the immune response.

Supported content

  1. Nature Medicine 26, 693–698 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-0860-1
Institutions Share
Genentech, Inc., United States of America (USA) 0.81
Roche Products Limited, United Kingdom (UK) 0.04
Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), Netherlands 0.04
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), United States of America (USA) 0.04
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), United States of America (USA) 0.04
Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), United Kingdom (UK) 0.04