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Current landscape and future directions of biomarkers for predicting responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors

Authors Zhu Y, Zhao F, Li Z, Yu J

Received 6 March 2018

Accepted for publication 21 May 2018

Published 7 August 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 2475—2488

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S167400

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kenan Onel


Yingming Zhu,1,2 Fen Zhao,1 Zhenxiang Li,1 Jinming Yu1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong University, Jinan, China; 2Department of Radiation Oncology, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China

Abstract: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), represented by anti-CTLA-4 or anti-PD-1/ anti-PD-L1 pathway antibodies, have led to a revolution in cancer treatment modalities. ICIs have unique clinical benefits, such as effectiveness against a broad range of tumor types, strong overall impact on survival, and persistent responses after the cessation of therapy. However, only a subset of patients responds to these therapies, and a small proportion of patients even experience rapid progression or an increased risk of death. Therefore, it is imperative to optimize patient selection for treatment. This review focuses on the mechanisms of tumor escape from immune surveillance, the composition and activity of a preexisting immune infiltrate, the degree of tumor foreignness (as reflected by the mutational burden, expression of viral genes, and driver gene mutations), and host factors (including peripheral blood biomarkers, genetic polymorphisms, and gut microbiome) to summarize current evidence on the biomarkers of responses to ICIs and explore the future prospects in this field.

Keywords: immune checkpoint inhibitor, programmed death-1, programmed death ligand-1, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4, biomarker, efficacy

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