Studies published today in Nature conclude that enrichment of B cells, a type of immune cell known for producing antibodies, in TLS was predictive of response to checkpoint blockade in patients with melanoma, soft-tissue sarcomas and renal cell carcinomas (RCC).
Checkpoint inhibitors offer the potential for long-term survival to patients across many cancer types, but not all benefit equally. Researchers previously have identified several useful biomarkers of response, which are helpful in identifying patients that may or may not benefit from checkpoint blockade.
Studies - Presence - B - Cells - Location
The current studies conclude that the presence of B cells and their location within TLS, which act as a lymph node within the tumor, is critical for response to checkpoint blockade, suggesting a dynamic interaction between several components of the immune system.
An MD Anderson-led study found that B-cell markers were the most differentially expressed genes in responders relative to non-responders, and B cells in the tumors of responders appeared to be more mature and specialized. These findings were first presented at the 2019 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting.
Findings - Area - B - Cells - Drivers
"These findings open up a whole new area -- that B cells are actually big drivers in cancer immunotherapy, specifically checkpoint blockade," said corresponding author Jennifer Wargo, M.D., professor of Genomic Medicine and Surgical Oncology. "This could lead us to important biomarkers for therapy response as well as potentially new therapeutic options."
The team analyzed samples from patients with advanced melanoma receiving neoadjuvant, or pre-surgical, checkpoint inhibitors as part of a clinical trial sponsored by MD Anderson's Melanoma Moon Shot®, part of the institution's Moon Shots Program®, a collaborative effort to accelerate scientific discoveries into clinical advances that save patients' lives.
Researchers - Group - Patients - RCC - Checkpoint
The researchers also studied a group of patients with metastatic RCC being treated with neoadjuvant checkpoint blockade as part of a clinical trial led by Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D., professor of...
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