Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Liquid Biopsy Can Help Predict Patient Response to Immunotherapy, Study Suggests

Monitoring changes in blood levels of the protein PD-L1, which acts as a protumorigenic factor in cancer cells, can help predict non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients' responses to immunotherapy, according to a study appearing this week in JCO Precision Oncology. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) of programmed death 1 and its ligand PD-L1 have proven highly effective for NSCLC patients ineligible for molecularly targeted therapies, including patients whose tumor biopsies showed low pretreatment levels of PD-L1. Hypothesizing that tracking changes in PD-L1 levels during treatment may give more insights than a baseline level from an initial biopsy, a Rutgers University- and the Fox Chase Cancer Center-led team examined PD-L1 levels in tumor-derived blood cells of 82 patients with recurrent or metastatic NSCLC, finding that patients whose PD-L1 levels increased during treatment in response to chemotherapy or radiotherapy and were treated with ICIs have significantly better outcomes versus similar patients who did not receive immunotherapy. "These data suggest that biological changes of PD-L1 in [tumor-associated cells] can be assessed in real time, and a liquid biopsy assay may provide a noninvasive method to sequentially monitor cancer-associated cells in circulation and possibly predict patient outcomes," the study's authors write.

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.