Anti-PD-1 therapy has been clinically effective against a wide range of cancers, but still only a fraction of patients achieve a durable response. Researchers have been on the hunt for biomarkers that could predict which patients are likely to respond to this therapy, and Krieg et al. may have finally found their mark. The team utilized peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from samples from twenty patients with metastatic melanoma before and twelve weeks after the initiation anti-PD-1 immunotherapy to compare responders and non-responders. They used high-dimensional, single-cell mass cytometry with three optimized immune marker panels and several bioinformatics tools to identify differences between responders and non-responders to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy.
Dr. Carsten Krieg is an immunology researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He discusses his use of the latest technology, a mass cytometry machine. This technology enables scientists to predict responses to immunotherapy by making visuals or “instagrams” of the immune system.