Scientists determine potential biomarkers related to constructive immunotherapy response



Scientists on the UCLA Jonsson Complete Most cancers Heart have recognized potential new biomarkers that would point out how somebody identified with metastatic melanoma will reply to immunotherapy remedy.

The researchers discovered when T cells are activated, they launch a protein known as CXCL13, which helps appeal to extra B cells and T cells to the tumor website. The B cells then present the T cells particular components of the tumor, which ends up in elevated activation of the T cells and their capability to struggle the most cancers. This cooperation between T cells and B cells was related to improved survival in sufferers identified with metastatic melanoma who have been handled with immunotherapy, however not for individuals who acquired focused remedy (e.g., MEK inhibitors).

These findings may assist information new methods to enhance the effectiveness of melanoma most cancers remedies.

Primarily based upon our information, elevated presence of B cells and CXCL13 protein within the tumor after immunotherapy remedy could also be predictive biomarkers for sturdy immunotherapy response in melanoma sufferers and could also be avenues to boost the response price to immunotherapy in sufferers identified with melanoma. For instance, mixture of anti-PD1 remedies with CXCL13 or B cell-directed therapies could also be methods for sufferers who fail to reply to checkpoint immunotherapy alone.”

Willy Hugo, PhD, co-senior creator of the paper, assistant professor of Medication within the division of Dermatology on the David Geffen Faculty of Medication at UCLA and member of the UCLA Jonsson Complete Most cancers Heart


Immune checkpoint inhibitors, which harness the physique’s immune system to raised assault most cancers cells, have revolutionized the best way individuals with melanoma are handled. Folks with aggressive types of the most cancers at the moment are dwelling longer, more healthy lives. Regardless of the outstanding success of utilizing immune checkpoint inhibitors to deal with individuals with superior melanoma, it’s nonetheless troublesome to foretell who will profit from the remedy.

Figuring out mechanisms that decide how tumors can develop into resistant to those therapies and understanding find out how to determine sufferers who will and won’t reply to them is crucial to creating new and improved remedies to assist enhance the response price of those therapies.


To grasp what might drive sturdy antitumor immune responses seen with checkpoint immunotherapy in some melanoma sufferers, and why such responses are much less typically seen in sufferers handled with different FDA-approved focused therapies, corresponding to mutant BRAF and MEK inhibitors, the UCLA crew in contrast the immune responses induced by present normal care focused and immunotherapies for individuals with metastatic melanoma.

The crew accomplished a comparative genomics evaluation utilizing printed RNA-seq profiles of melanoma samples collected earlier than and after both remedy. They discovered that response to immunotherapy, however not focused remedy, is accompanied with vital infiltration of clonally various B cells. The rise of B cell infiltration in response to immunotherapy is accompanied by a major upregulation of B-cell chemotactic issue, CXCL13, by T cells.


“This research means that CXCL13 might play an vital function in bringing collectively T and B cells within the tumor microenvironment in sufferers who reply to checkpoint immunotherapy, and that this cooperation could also be key to efficient anti-tumor responses. Additional research are want to find out if these pathways may be boosted in non-responders to enhance outcomes,” stated co-senior creator of the paper Melissa Lechner, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medication within the division of Endocrinology on the David Geffen Faculty of Medication at UCLA and member of the UCLA Jonsson Complete Most cancers Heart.

These information additionally assist a task for antigen presentation by B cells to T cells within the tumor microenvironment, and spotlight the potential of utilizing B cell-based most cancers vaccines to boost the effectiveness of immune checkpoint immunotherapies.

The crew now plans to additional discover these mechanisms in preclinical most cancers fashions and check whether or not antigen presenting B cell and CXCL13 manipulation can enhance anti-tumor immune responses in non-responders.


The research was printed within the journal Frontiers in Immunology.


The research’s different senior creator is Dr. Melissa Lechner, assistant professor of Medication within the division of Endocrinology, Diabetes. The research’s first creator is Lizhong Ding. Different UCLA authors embody Lu Solar, Melissa Bu, Yanjun Zhang, Lauren Scott, Robert Prins and Maureen Su.


This work was supported partly by grants from the Nationwide Most cancers Institute (1R01CA236910) and a grant from Parker Institute for Most cancers Immunotherapy.


Journal reference:

Ding, L., et al. (2023) Antigen presentation by clonally various CXCR5+ B cells to CD4 and CD8 T cells is related to sturdy response to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Frontiers in Immunology.