David I. Quinn, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine, section head, Genitourinary Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine and Blood Diseases, Keck School of Medicine, discusses the current state of biomarkers in renal cell carcinoma.
David I. Quinn, MD, associate professor of medicine, section head, Genitourinary Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine and Blood Diseases in the Department of Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, discusses current biomarkers in renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
At the moment, the field is not doing very well in this aspect, Quinn says. Ideally, researchers would have to identify a certain biomarker such as PD-L1 expression in the tumor microenvironment or infiltrating immune cells before giving a therapy. However, there’s still a long way to go with this research in RCC. Right now, if oncologists have to choose between utilizing a biomarker or not, they usually won’t unless there is proven benefit in doing so, Quinn admits.
However, recent studies of different combinations of immunotherapies and VEGF TKIs suggest that there may be certain gene signatures in patients that may indicate who will do well with each therapy. Better understanding of these signatures may help researchers overcome intrinsic resistance, Quinn adds; however, this is just postulation at this stage and confirmatory research is needed.