Researchers uncover potential biomarkers of positive response to immunotherapy

Source: Science Daily, June 2023

Scientists at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified potential new biomarkers that could indicate how someone diagnosed with metastatic melanoma will respond to immunotherapy treatment.

The researchers found when T cells are activated, they release a protein called CXCL13, which helps attract more B cells and T cells to the tumor site. The B cells then show the T cells specific parts of the tumor, which leads to increased activation of the T cells and their ability to fight the cancer. This cooperation between T cells and B cells was associated with improved survival in patients diagnosed with metastatic melanoma who were treated with immunotherapy, but not for those who received targeted therapy (e.g., MEK inhibitors).

These findings could help guide new strategies to improve the effectiveness of melanoma cancer treatments.