This morning, two major themes from the Congress came together in the Clinical Science Symposium “Immunotherapy: Now We’re Getting Personal—Using Genomics and Biomarkers to Predict Response.”
The presenters discussed the role of mutational load in predicting response to checkpoint inhibition and the opportunity to integrate genomics with other biomarkers to improve patient selection.
Good biomarkers for PD-1 checkpoint blockade have been sadly lacking as both PD-L1 positive and negative tumors can respond to treatment. While PD-L1 expression correlates with response, many patients without PD-L1 expression still respond, and many patients with PD-L1 do not.
In this session, multiple studies were presented that correlated the mutational load of individual tumors with response to treatment, showing that tumors with the highest mutational burden were more likely to respond to checkpoint inhibition and have improved survival.
Across tumor types, mutational load is establishing itself as an important predictor of patient outcomes.
How it can be integrated with other biological indicators will be important for identifying patients that can benefit from checkpoint blockade.