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Lung Cancer Study Finds Molecular Features Affecting Immunotherapy Response

In Nature Genetics, investigators at the Broad institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and elsewhere consider features of non-small lung cancer (NSCLC) linked to checkpoint immunotherapy response. As part of a Stand Up to Cancer-Mark Foundation analysis, the team analyzed tumor exome and/or RNA sequence data in combination with clinical outcome profiles for 393 advanced NSCLC patients receiving anti-PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor treatment, highlighting several molecular features linked to better or worse progression-free survival and overall survival outcomes. Among other response-related features, their results suggest that TERT amplifications tend to coincide with poorer outcomes, for example, while alterations affecting the ATM gene; increased expression of immunoproteasome-related genes such as PSME1, PSME2, and PSMB9; or expression features resembling a dedifferentiated tumor subtype were linked to more favorable outcomes. "Comprehensive identification of predictors of checkpoint blockade response in patients with NSCLC has been limited by the availability of large, well-annotated patient cohorts with matched genomic data, particularly within individual cancer types," the authors explain, noting that findings from the current analysis suggest a "complex interplay between distinct signaling pathways (for example, CXCL9 versus TGF-beta signaling) and distinct cell types (for example, myeloid cells versus fibroblasts), shedding light on some of the multifaceted interactions underlying checkpoint blockade responsiveness."

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.