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Immune Checkpoint Therapy and the Search for Predictive Biomarkers

Sharma, Padmanee MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000185

Immune checkpoint therapy has started a revolution in the field of oncology. The concept that the immune system plays a critical role in antitumor responses, which has been around for decades, has finally been proven and firmly established with elegant preclinical studies and dramatic clinical responses in patients as a result of antibodies that block inhibitory T-cell pathways. However, the clinical responses being achieved are only in a subset of patients, and more work is needed to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms that elicit tumor rejection, which will enable identification of appropriate biomarkers, reveal new targets, provide data to guide combination studies, and eventually dictate a platform that allows more patients to derive clinical benefit, including cures, with immune checkpoint therapy.

From the Departments of Immunology and Genitourinary Medical Oncology, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.P.S.’s work was supported by the SU2C-CRI Dream Team Cancer Immunotherapy Grant, PCF Challenge Grant in Immunology, NCI/NIH 1-R01 CA1633793-01, and Cancer Prevention Research in Texas (grant RP120108).

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Reprints: Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1155 Pressler St., Unit 1374 (CPB7.3504)Houston, Texas 77030. E-mail:

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