Blood Test to Determine Which Patients Will Respond to Immunotherapy
A test that measures the levels of two types of immune cell in the blood could identify which cancer patients are most likely to respond to immunotherapy.
The test gives a measure of a patient’s immune system health by comparing the number of neutrophils – which can indicate the presence of chronic inflammation and impaired immunity – with the number of lymphocytes, which are indicative of a healthy immune cell response.
In a new study, led by a team from the Drug Development Unit at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, patients with a range of cancers were flagged as either having a high or a low ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes.
Those with a higher ratio were less likely to respond to immunotherapy drugs known as PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors, which include nivolumab.
They also had a shorter survival time.
Tracking patients response to treatment
As well as investigating the link between initial neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio, or NLR, and patients’ response to immunotherapy, the study team also looked at how the ratio changed during treatment.
Their research, which was published in the European Journal of Cancer, found that the NLRs of patients who respond best to immunotherapy decreased over time, compared with patients whose cancers remained stable or progressed.
This suggests that monitoring patients’ NLRs could help clinicians determine if an immunotherapy is working.
New tools to monitor the effectiveness of immunotherapies are urgently needed. Scans alone can struggle to identify progression in some tumours.
Enabling smarter, kinder treatments
Study leader Dr Juanita Lopez, Consultant Medical Oncologist at the ICR and The Royal Marsden, said: “The neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio is widely used by clinicians as a prognostic tool, but until now it was not clear whether this association had utility in predicting patient outcomes on immunotherapies.
“Our research shows that a patient’s initial NLR is a good indication of whether they will benefit from PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitors, and can be used to track a patient’s response throughout their treatment.
This article has been republished from materials provided by The Institute of Cancer Research. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Disease-Fighting 'Warheads' Hidden in BacteriaNews
Bacteria found in soil may harbor a potential game-changer for drug design. A new study by Scripps Research, published today in Nature Communications, suggests scientists could build better drugs by learning from bacteria-derived molecules called thiocarboxylic acids.READ MORE
Exploring Challenges in the Synthesis of Pharmaceutical DrugsNews
This summer, Wendell and Loretta Hess Professor of Chemistry Ram Mohan will travel to India and Hong Kong to deliver a series of post-graduate workshops on advanced concepts in organic synthesis.
His workshop “Advanced Concepts in the Synthesis of Pharmaceutical Drugs” at the Indian Institute of Technology Indore will explore the unique, real-world challenges in the pharmaceutical industry to synthesize drugs that are both commercially viable and eco-friendly.
Modern Alchemists are Making Chemistry GreenerNews
Ancient alchemists tried to turn lead and other common metals into gold and platinum. Modern chemists in Paul Chirik’s lab at Princeton are transforming reactions that have depended on environmentally unfriendly precious metals, finding cheaper and greener alternatives to replace platinum, rhodium and other precious metals in drug production and other reactions.READ MORE
Comments | 0 ADD COMMENT
27th International Conference on Nanomedicine and Nanomaterials
Oct 18 - Oct 19, 2018