VIDEO: Scientists led by Dr. Daniel De Carvalho at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have discovered a gene signature biomarker that may predict which patients will respond — or not — to immune therapy. view more
(TORONTO, Canada, Nov. 8, 2018) – Scientists led by Dr. Daniel De Carvalho at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have discovered a gene signature biomarker that may predict which patients will respond – or not – to immune therapy.
The findings are published online today in Nature Communications (doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06654-8).
Dr. De Carvalho, principal investigator, says the gene signature relates to the body’s molecular network called the extracellular matrix (ECM) that underpins and physically supports cells. For cancer patients with the gene signature, the research suggests the ECM can stiffen around the diseased cells to form a barrier that immune cells simply cannot penetrate.
“The ECM gene signature associated with response to immune therapy is important because as of today we do not have a very good way to predict which patient will respond or which patient will not respond,” says Dr. De Carvalho, Senior Scientist at the cancer centre, University Health Network.
The multi-institutional scientific team used a big data approach and examined available data