While checkpoint immunotherapy has provided remarkable benefits for patients with several different cancer types, unfortunately, it’s been much less effective for patients with glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer. However, Dr. Prins believes that GBM patients who have responded to immunotherapy may offer clues that could be used to help others in this patient population. To that end, his team is using patient samples from a clinical trial to identify novel biomarkers that could help predict the patients who are most likely to benefit from immunotherapy. Specifically, they’re looking at how checkpoint immunotherapy affects the immune environment within tumors, and have already found that that a proportion of GBM patients have increased interferon immune signaling and increased infiltration of T cells into their tumors, and, at least according to their preliminary data, that these characteristics are associated with improved survival in these patients. Now, Prins’ team plans to further explore the value of these biomarkers in GBM patients, in order to pave the way for the development of new, rational immunotherapy strategies in brain tumor patients.
Projects and Grants
Elevated TIL accumulation, with clonal TCR expansion and inflammatory tumor gene expression, predict clinical benefit of PD-1 blockade in patients with recurrent glioblastoma
University of California, Los Angeles | Brain Cancer | 2018
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