A recent study published in “Annals of Oncology” by a French research group has made significant strides in precision medicine for treating metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The study involved 110 mCRC patients treated with PD-L1 inhibitors, possibly combined with a CTLA-4 inhibitor. Researchers conducted DNA and RNA sequencing, adopting a discovery-and-validation approach to identify patients more responsive to immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Traditionally, tumor mutational burden and microsatellite insufficiency were considered markers for response prediction. However, this study’s deep sequencing revealed that these markers were less significant. Instead, the researchers focused on genes associated with microsatellite instability (MSI) and a set of 182 RNA sequences related to the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) pathway, known for its role in controlling the immune microenvironment.
The study’s findings suggest that TGF-beta has an anti-immunological effect, and by integrating this with the new components discovered through sequencing, the researchers developed a set of biomarkers that significantly increase the likelihood of identifying patients who will respond well to treatment.
This research represents a notable advancement in the field of oncology, particularly in the treatment of mCRC. It highlights the importance of continuing to explore and validate new biomarkers for better patient-tumor drug matching. The study’s approach and findings could lead to more effective and personalized treatment strategies, potentially improving outcomes for patients with mCRC.