University of California, Los Angeles: UCLA scientists identify biomarker signature that predicts side effects from some cancer treatments

UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have identified a biomarker signature that predicts which patients are likely to be affected by serious side effects that can occur during a type of cancer treatment.

The study, led by Dr. Joanne Weidhaas, a UCLA professor of radiation oncology and the director of the division of molecular and cellular oncology at UCLA Health, was published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer.

The study focused on anti-PD1/PDL1 therapy, which has emerged as a promising approach for treating several types of cancer but which causes serious side effects in up to 30% of patients. The scientists identified a biomarker panel that predicted with 80% accuracy who will develop the conditions.

The findings could improve doctors’ ability to offer truly personalized cancer therapy by enabling them to consider the likelihood of severe side effects along with other data that can predict people’s probable responses to treatment.

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