By Steffen Dettling
At least this is what Alexander Eggermont (University Paris Sud, France) recently predicted at the keynote lecture at CIMT 2015 in Mainz, Germany.
The major immune checkpoints PD-1/PD-1L and CTLA-4, both inhibiting T cell activation, are emerging as promising therapeutic targets in many cancer types. Long-lasting clinical responses are obtained in first immunotherapy trials using monoclonal antibodies against these checkpoints in melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, and non-small cell lung carcinoma. First data from Phase I clinical trials suggest a positive correlation of response rates and higher loads of somatic mutations. For instance, NSCLC patients with a positive smoking status seems to benefit more from immunotherapy compared to non-smoking patients. For more detailed information about how the mutational heterogeneity in tumors affects the success of immune checkpoint-targeting therapies, check out this review.
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