Metastatic Melanoma Study Highlights Genetics of Checkpoint Blockade Response

Source: Genome Web, March 2017

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – New research by a University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center-led team has untangled some of the factors that influence checkpoint inhibitor treatment response in metastatic melanoma.

As they reported in Science Translational Medicine today, the researchers used a combination of exome sequencing, gene expression profiling, and targeted T cell receptor sequencing on biopsy samples collected over time from 56 individuals with metastatic melanoma. These patients were first treated with drugs targeting the immune checkpoint player CTLA-4 before being treated with an anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint blockade after progression.

While T cell receptor clonality appeared to contribute to anti-PD-1 response, the team reported, tumor features such as mutational load and copy number profiles seemed to influence responses to both PD-1 and CTLA1-4-focused treatments.

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