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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 56-67

Personalized cancer immunotherapy: Today's challenge and tomorrow's promise

The Drug Development Unit, Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden Hospital, Downs Road, Sutton, UK

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Juanita Lopez
Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden Hospital, Downs Road, Sutton
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JIPO.JIPO_13_18

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Precision medicine continues to be the benchmark toward which we strive in cancer research. Conventionally, it is the term applied to the use of genomic information to guide molecularly targeted therapy. However, the advent of clinically effective cancer immunotherapies has posed a challenge for this concept of precision medicine, as robust biomarkers that can differentiate responders from nonresponders have not been described. Here, we review the current scientific efforts using novel technologies to develop biomarkers for immunotherapeutics, to ultimately achieve “personalized immunotherapy.” We first examine the role of programmed death ligand 1 expression and tumor mutational burden, the two most-studied tumoral response biomarkers; and subsequently discuss innovative candidate biomarkers including integrated “omics” approaches utilizing serial tumor, blood, and microbiome sampling. We also detail the challenges in unifying these approaches into a patient-focused immunogram to truly personalize immunotherapy.

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