Oncology Research

The immunoSEQ® Assay enables identification of an immune response to tumor growth and metastases by characterizing the immune repertoire. Identify predictive and prognostic biomarkers, evaluate mechanism of action of treatments, predict and monitor adverse response to treatment. The immunoSEQ Analyzer provides you the tools needed to easily identify prognostic and predictive biomarkers of outcomes, response and adverse events. 

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  • AACR Blog
    Highlights of exciting immunoSEQ® Data at AACR 2021

    This year’s American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, held virtually in April, highlighted exciting research taking place across the cancer research landscape. Read about several key trends and research findings from this year’s meeting.

  • Nowicki Webinar
    On-Demand Webinar

    Transgenic T-Cell Receptor Adoptive Cell Therapies: Addressing Epigenetic Suppression & Optimizing Therapies with Immunosequencing, presented by Theodore Scott Nowicki, MD, PhD, UCLA & Nathan Polaske, PhD, Scientific Liaison, Adaptive Biotechnologies

NEW AND KEY PUBLICATIONS

Duhen et al, Nature Communications, 2021

Neoadjuvant anti-OX40 (MEDI6469) therapy in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma activates and expands antigen-specific tumor-infiltrating T cells

Despite the success of checkpoint blockade in some cancer patients, there is an unmet need to improve outcomes. Targeting alternative pathways, such as costimulatory molecules (e.g. OX40, GITR, and 4-1BB), can enhance T cell immunity in tumor-bearing hosts. Here we describe the results from a phase Ib clinical trial (NCT02274155) in which 17 patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) received a murine anti-human OX40 agonist antibody (MEDI6469) prior to definitive surgical resection. The primary endpoint was to determine safety and feasibility of the anti-OX40 neoadjuvant treatment. The secondary objective was to assess the effect of anti-OX40 on lymphocyte subsets in the tumor and blood. Neoadjuvant anti-OX40 was well tolerated and did not delay surgery, thus meeting the primary endpoint. Peripheral blood phenotyping data show increases in CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation two weeks after anti-OX40 administration. Comparison of tumor biopsies before and after treatment reveals an increase of activated, conventional CD4+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) in most patients and higher clonality by TCRβ sequencing. Analyses of CD8+ TIL show increases in tumor-antigen reactive, proliferating CD103+ CD39+ cells in 25% of patients with evaluable tumor tissue (N = 4/16), all of whom remain disease-free. These data provide evidence that anti-OX40 prior to surgery is safe and can increase activation and proliferation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in blood and tumor. Our work suggests that increases in the tumor-reactive CD103+ CD39+ CD8+ TIL could serve as a potential biomarker of anti-OX40 clinical activity.

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Crosby et al., Oncoimmunology 2021

Complimentary mechanisms of dual checkpoint blockade expand unique T-cell repertoires and activate adaptive anti-tumor immunity in triple-negative breast tumors

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive and molecularly diverse breast cancer subtype typified by the presence of p53 mutations (∼80%), elevated immune gene signatures and neoantigen expression, as well as the presence of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). As these factors are hypothesized to be strong immunologic prerequisites for the use of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) antibodies, multiple clinical trials testing single ICBs have advanced to Phase III, with early indications of heterogeneous response rates of <20% to anti-PD1 and anti-PDL1 ICB. While promising, these modest response rates highlight the need for mechanistic studies to understand how different ICBs function, how their combination impacts functionality and efficacy, as well as what immunologic parameters predict efficacy to different ICBs regimens in TNBC. To address these issues, we tested anti-PD1 and anti-CTLA4 in multiple models of TNBC and found that their combination profoundly enhanced the efficacy of either treatment alone. We demonstrate that this efficacy is due to anti-CTLA4-driven expansion of an individually unique T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire whose functionality is enhanced by both intratumoral Treg suppression and anti-PD1 blockade of tumor expressed PDL1. Notably, the individuality of the TCR repertoire was observed regardless of whether the tumor cells expressed a nonself antigen (ovalbumin) or if tumor-specific transgenic T-cells were transferred prior to sequencing. However, responsiveness was strongly correlated with systemic measures of tumor-specific T-cell and B-cell responses, which along with systemic assessment of TCR expansion, may serve as the most useful predictors for clinical responsiveness in future clinical trials of TNBC utilizing anti-PD1/anti-CTLA4 ICB.

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Nowicki, et al. Cancer Discovery, 2020

Epigenetic Suppression of Transgenic T-cell Receptor Expression via Gamma-Retroviral Vector Methylation in Adoptive Cell Transfer Therapy

Transgenic T-cell receptor (TCR) adoptive cell therapies recognizing tumor antigens are associated with robust initial response rates, but frequent disease relapse. This usually occurs in the setting of poor long-term persistence of cells expressing the transgenic TCR, generated using murine stem cell virus (MSCV) γ-retroviral vectors. Analysis of clinical transgenic adoptive cell therapy products in vivo revealed that despite strong persistence of the transgenic TCR DNA sequence over time, its expression was profoundly decreased over time at the RNA and protein levels. Patients with the greatest degrees of expression suppression displayed significant increases in DNA methylation over time within the MSCV promoter region, as well as progressive increases in DNA methylation within the entire MSCV vector over time. These increases in vector methylation occurred independently of its integration site within the host genomes. These results have significant implications for the design of future viral vector gene-engineered adoptive cell transfer therapies. SIGNIFICANCE: Cellular immunotherapies' reliance on retroviral vectors encoding foreign genetic material can be vulnerable to progressive acquisition of DNA methylation and subsequent epigenetic suppression of the transgenic product in TCR adoptive cell therapy. This must be considered in the design of future generations of cellular immunotherapies for cancer.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 1611.

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Cascone, et al. Nature Medicine 2021

Neoadjuvant nivolumab or nivolumab plus ipilimumab in operable non-small cell lung cancer: the phase 2 randomized NEOSTAR trial

Ipilimumab improves clinical outcomes when combined with nivolumab in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but its efficacy and impact on the immune microenvironment in operable NSCLC remain unclear. We report the results of the phase 2 randomized NEOSTAR trial (NCT03158129) of neoadjuvant nivolumab or nivolumab + ipilimumab followed by surgery in 44 patients with operable NSCLC, using major pathologic response (MPR) as the primary endpoint. The MPR rate for each treatment arm was tested against historical controls of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The nivolumab + ipilimumab arm met the prespecified primary endpoint threshold of 6 MPRs in 21 patients, achieving a 38% MPR rate (8/21). We observed a 22% MPR rate (5/23) in the nivolumab arm. In 37 patients resected on trial, nivolumab and nivolumab + ipilimumab produced MPR rates of 24% (5/21) and 50% (8/16), respectively. Compared with nivolumab, nivolumab + ipilimumab resulted in higher pathologic complete response rates (10% versus 38%), less viable tumor (median 50% versus 9%), and greater frequencies of effector, tissue-resident memory and effector memory T cells. Increased abundance of gut Ruminococcus and Akkermansia spp. was associated with MPR to dual therapy. Our data indicate that neoadjuvant nivolumab + ipilimumab-based therapy enhances pathologic responses, tumor immune infiltrates and immunologic memory, and merits further investigation in operable NSCLC.

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Immuno-Oncology Research Applications Overview

See how the immunoSEQ Technology has been used to study repertoire properties, repertoire dynamics, and Ag-specific & public clones in immuno-oncology research.

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Molecular analysis of primary melanoma T cells identifies patients at risk for metastatic recurrence

Learn how Pruesseman et al used the T-cell fraction metric, as measured by the immunoSEQ Assay, to predict progression free survival which improved upon conventional histopathological grading. 

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From Bench to Biomarker: Applications of immunoSEQ Assay Across the Clinical Development Pipeline

This webinar will use real-world data to demonstrate how the immunoSEQ® Technology can be leveraged at various points in the drug development and clinical trial research to improve the development of new therapies.

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COVID-19 Applications

Learn how immunoSEQ® T-MAP™ COVID can help uncover the T-cell immune response in COVID-19.

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