Immune checkpoint inhibitors have become one of the main treatments for patients with metastatic urothelial cancer. Although ICIs are highly effective with long-lasting results in some patients, only a minority respond and benefit from the therapy. There is, therefore, a significant unmet medical need for accurate liquid biopsy precision solutions that can select and monitor patients during ICI therapy.
Dr Niven Mehra, Department of Medical Oncology at Radboud University, The Netherlands, said: ‘Early blood-based response biomarkers may provide a reliable and convenient way to determine whether ICIs are effective before imaging is available, usually after 12 weeks, and can be particularly useful for those with equivocal imaging.’
The study leveraged Novigenix core competencies in Immuno-Transcriptomics and machine learning to develop biomarkers and predictive algorithms. In the whole blood of patients with clinical benefit, genes involved in DNA replication and cell cycle regulation were upregulated after two to six weeks of treatment. Dr Laura Ciarloni, director of Clinical and Scientific Affairs at Novigenix, underlined: ‘This study highlights the value of whole-blood transcriptomics platform of Novigenix, LITOseek, for generating insights into the immune response to anti-PD-1 therapy.’
Dr Sahar Hosseinian, CTO of Novigenix, added: ‘This study demonstrates the power of whole-blood immuno-transcriptomics to discover clinically actionable biomarkers that support drug development. This new class of liquid biopsy precision oncology solutions may significantly support oncologists in treating urothelial cancer patients to improve personalised ICI therapy and patient outcomes.’