Dr. Borghaei on Emerging Biomarkers in NSCLC

Hossein Borghaei, DO, MS
Published: Friday, Nov 15, 2019



Hossein Borghaei, DO, MS, chief, Division of Thoracic Medical Oncology, director, Lung Cancer Risk Assessment, professor, Department of Hematology/Oncology, co-director, Immune Monitoring Facility, Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma TRDG member, and Gloria and Edmund M. Dunn Chair in Thoracic Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, discusses emerging biomarkers of response to immunotherapy in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

In addition to PD-L1 and tumor mutational burden, other T-cell activation markers have been investigated as potential predictors of response to immunotherapy, including an interferon gamma messenger RNA signature, says Borghaei. Additional research groups are looking at composite markers, such as PD-L1 and infiltrating lymphocytes. Drug-specific biomarkers could provide even more predictive value. For example, certain lymphocyte populations have been shown to be predictive of response to combination therapy. However, these data are not robust enough to draw conclusions from, says Borghaei. 

Equally important are predictors of lack of response to immunotherapy. LKB1 has emerged as one such marker and could help identify patients who should not receive immunotherapy. However, these data are retrospective and require prospective validation, concludes Borghaei.
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Hossein Borghaei, DO, MS, chief, Division of Thoracic Medical Oncology, director, Lung Cancer Risk Assessment, professor, Department of Hematology/Oncology, co-director, Immune Monitoring Facility, Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma TRDG member, and Gloria and Edmund M. Dunn Chair in Thoracic Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, discusses emerging biomarkers of response to immunotherapy in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

In addition to PD-L1 and tumor mutational burden, other T-cell activation markers have been investigated as potential predictors of response to immunotherapy, including an interferon gamma messenger RNA signature, says Borghaei. Additional research groups are looking at composite markers, such as PD-L1 and infiltrating lymphocytes. Drug-specific biomarkers could provide even more predictive value. For example, certain lymphocyte populations have been shown to be predictive of response to combination therapy. However, these data are not robust enough to draw conclusions from, says Borghaei. 

Equally important are predictors of lack of response to immunotherapy. LKB1 has emerged as one such marker and could help identify patients who should not receive immunotherapy. However, these data are retrospective and require prospective validation, concludes Borghaei.



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