Immuno-therapy has begun to revolutionize cancer treatment. However, despite the significant progress achieved in regard to the duration of clinical benefits, a substantial number of patients do not respond to these therapies. To improve the outcome of patients receiving immuno-therapy, there is a need for novel biomarkers that can predict and monitor treatment. Tumor microenvironment alterations, more specifically the state of chronic inflammation and desmoplasia (tumor fibrosis), are important factors to consider in this context. Here, we discuss the potential for quantification of altered tissue turnover in a liquid biopsy as a proposed precision medicine tool to assess chronic inflammation and desmoplasia in the immuno-oncology (IO) setting. We highlight the need for novel non-invasive biomarkers in IO and the importance of addressing tumor microenvironment alterations. We focus on desmoplasia and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, and how the composition of the ECM defines T-cell permissiveness in the tumor microenvironment and opens up the possibility for associated liquid biopsy biomarkers. Moreover, we address the importance of the assessment of chronic inflammation, primarily macrophage activity, in a liquid biopsy.
November 8, 2017
Cancer Immunol Immunother
Willumsen N, Thomsen LB, Bager CL, Jensen C, Karsdal MA
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