Dr. Kaufman on the Importance of the Immunoscore
Howard L. Kaufman, MD, Rush University Medical Center, discusses the implications of the Immunoscore for the treatment of patients with cancer.
The Immunoscore, pioneered by Jérôme Galon, PhD, is based on interesting data from a large number of patients with colorectal cancer. This analysis, Kaufman says, found that the number and location of lymphocytes, particularly T cells, within the tumor microenvironment was highly predictive of prognosis. In fact, Kaufman points out, the Immunoscore was better than the AJCC staging system. While it is well-known that some patients with early stage cancer go on to develop recurrence and some patients with advanced disease might do better, there has been an interesting correlation with the initial look of the T cell response at the tumor site and a patient's prognosis.
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer is sponsoring a worldwide effort to analyze the impact of the Immunoscore on prognosis using data collected from multiple institutions in many countries. The Immunoscore has implications beyond colorectal cancer because this T cell response has been seen in other types of cancer including melanoma, breast cancer, and gastric cancer.
If validated, the Immunoscore could provide a better way to understand prognosis for patients with cancer but also select patients who might benefit from immunotherapy in general.