Opening a new era of cancer immunotherapy

Research teams from the Division of Hematology and Oncology and the Samsung Genome Institute of Samsung Medical Center developed a new indicator that predicts the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapies for lung cancer patients. The researchers analyzed the genome of 198 non-small cell lung cancer patients and revealed that “corrected TMB” can function as a biomarker for cancer immunotherapies. Tumor mutation burden (TMB) refers to the analysis of the amount of cancer cell mutations within a patient’s body.


The conventional method of using TMB when screening for patients suitable for cancer immunotherapy has been closely observed by medical practitioners who see TMB as a potential biomarker for cancer immunotherapy. However, the conventional method has not been widely used because it was only effective for certain groups of patients. To solve such a problem, the research teams devised a correction model for the calculation of TMB. The corrected TMB model deduced a significant increase in survival rate, while the conventional calculation method failed to produce similar results even in patients with high TMB values. 


According to the statistical analysis, patients with high corrected TMB values have a risk of death at around 44%, which is much lower than that of patients with low TMB values. In addition, patients with high corrected TMB were found to have a higher chance of survival with no cancer progression. 
The study was published in the latest issue of Annals of Oncology, IF 14.186.