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WCLC 2021 | Blood-based biomarkers for immunotherapy in NSCLC

Lizza Hendriks, MD, PhD, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands, discusses the applications and limitations of blood-based biomarkers for immunotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Aside from targetable drivers, tissue PD-L1 status is the only biomarker currently used for treatment selection in NSCLC. However, PD-L1 expression is heterogenous across sites of disease and not all patients with high expression will respond well to checkpoint inhibition, thus limiting its utility. Easier to use and more accurate biomarkers are needed for treatment selection and monitoring. Blood-based biomarkers have possible benefits including that they are relatively non-invasive, repeatable and more representative than a biopsy. Dr Hendriks discusses some of the blood-based biomarkers that have been investigated including PD-L1 in circulating tumor cells, circulating tumor DNA, blood tumor mutational burden, T-cell receptor clonality analysis, albumin, and lymphocyte counts. This interview took place during the IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) virtual meeting 2021.

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