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The Value of Biomarkers in Optimizing the Use of Immuno-oncologic Therapy

[ Vol. 20 , Issue. 1 ]


Carlos G. Ferreira, Andrea Nicolini*, Liliana Dalurzo, Stephen Stefani, Vanessa Teich and Natasha Leighl   Pages 81 - 86 ( 6 )


The development of therapies that restore or activate the host immune response – the socalled “immuno-oncologic” therapy – has improved the survival of some cancer patients harboring specific tumor types. These drugs, however, are very expensive which has greatly limited their use and consequently reduced the number of patients who could likely benefit. Not to mention, the proportion of patients who display a clinical benefit from therapy is limited. Thus, from a clinical and health economics perspective, there is a pressing need to identify and treat those patients for whom a given immuno- oncologic therapy is most likely to be beneficial. At this end, the identification, validation and use of biomarkers emerge as an important therapeutic tool. Here, we briefly review the state of immunologic biomarker development and utilization and make suggestions for interested clinicians, health policy makers and other stakeholders to prepare for the broader use of biomarkers associated with immuno-oncologic therapy in routine practice. The biomarker field is clearly in its earliest stages and there is no doubt that continued research will identify new biomarkers with valuable clinical indications. Of course, the clinical utility of a biomarker must consider patient preferences and perspectives. In addition, health economic analyses are crucial to better define the value of immunotherapy based on precision medicine strategies and promote value-based pricing.


Biomarkers, immuno-oncology, immuno-oncologic therapy, cancer, biological molecule, clinical oncology.


Oncoclínicas Institute for Research, Innovation and Education, Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Department of Oncology, Transplantation and New Technologies in Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Department of Pathology, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Mae de Deus Cancer Center, Porto Alegre/RS, SENSE Company- Insper, Sao Paulo/SP, Cancer Clinical Research Unit (CCRU), Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, ON

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