Immunotherapy is a strong weapon in the hands of oncologists in the fight against cancer and has been remarkably successful in treating different types of cancer. However, only a subset of patients benefit clinically. Therefore, it is vital that we understand and identify the determinants that lead to response, resistance, and adverse effects.
In the context of cancer immunotherapy, biomarkers can provide cancer information to each patient individually – his or her genetic makeup, behavior, and immune system interactions – which doctors can then use to determine therapeutic approach that is more likely to benefit this particular person.
Already, several biomarkers have been incorporated into clinical practice, while the value of others has recently been recognized and is still being investigated. Some of the most promising immunotherapy biomarkers today in include: the expression of the PD-L1 protein, the control of MSI (Microdermabrasion Instability) and the determination of the TMB (Tumor Mutational Burden).