Israeli researchers develop new tech to find which patients suitable for immunotherapy

  • World
  • Friday, 02 Jun 2023

JERUSALEM, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Israeli researchers have developed a "groundbreaking" bio-sensing technology that predicts which cancer patients will positively respond to immunotherapy, Israel's Ben Gurion University (BGU) said on Thursday.

The new method, developed in a new study published in the journal Science Advances on May 26, accurately predicts the response of cancer patients to the leading anti-PD1 therapy that disrupts immune suppression to fight tumors, BGU said in a statement posted on its website.

Anti-PD1 therapy blocks interaction between PD-1, a protein on the surface of immune T cells, and its counterpart molecules on tumor cells, PD-L1 and PD-L2, thus reinvigorating T cells to kill cancer cells and leading to the regression of the cancerous tumor.

The new technology, called IcAR (Immuno-checkpoint Artificial Reporter), measures the binding functionality of PD-L1 and PD-L2 to their receptor PD-1.

The diagnostic test is performed using a tumor sample taken from the patient, and examining the interaction between its molecules and biological sensors that express PD-1 similar to the immune system.

Using the new technology, doctors can tailor treatments accordingly, while sparing non-responder patients from ineffective treatments, BGU noted, adding that it may also help predict responses to other immunology therapies.

The test enables the screening of substantial amounts of cancer samples without requiring fresh biopsies or biological material, as it is based on a fixed tumor tissue available at the patient's medical center, BGU said.

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