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  • Tumor Mutational Burden as a Predictive Biomarker for Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: A Review of Current Evidence ONCOLOGIST Klempner, S. J., Fabrizio, D., Bane, S., Reinhart, M., Peoples, T., Ali, S. M., Sokol, E. S., Frampton, G., Schrock, A. B., Anhorn, R., Reddy, P. 2020; 25 (1): E147?E159


    Treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPIs) extends survival in a proportion of patients across multiple cancers. Tumor mutational burden (TMB)-the number of somatic mutations per DNA megabase (Mb)-has emerged as a proxy for neoantigen burden that is an independent biomarker associated with ICPI outcomes. Based on findings from recent studies, TMB can be reliably estimated using validated algorithms from next-generation sequencing assays that interrogate a sufficiently large subset of the exome as an alternative to whole-exome sequencing. Biological processes contributing to elevated TMB can result from exposure to cigarette smoke and ultraviolet radiation, from deleterious mutations in mismatch repair leading to microsatellite instability, or from mutations in the DNA repair machinery. A variety of clinical studies have shown that patients with higher TMB experience longer survival and greater response rates following treatment with ICPIs compared with those who have lower TMB levels; this includes a prospective randomized clinical trial that found a TMB threshold of ?10 mutations per Mb to be predictive of longer progression-free survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Multiple trials are underway to validate the predictive values of TMB across cancer types and in patients treated with other immunotherapies. Here we review the rationale, algorithm development methodology, and existing clinical data supporting the use of TMB as a predictive biomarker for treatment with ICPIs. We discuss emerging roles for TMB and its potential future value for stratifying patients according to their likelihood of ICPI treatment response. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Tumor mutational burden (TMB) is a newly established independent predictor of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICPI) treatment outcome across multiple tumor types. Certain next-generation sequencing-based techniques allow TMB to be reliably estimated from a subset of the exome without the use of whole-exome sequencing, thus facilitating the adoption of TMB assessment in community oncology settings. Analyses of multiple clinical trials across several cancer types have demonstrated that TMB stratifies patients who are receiving ICPIs by response rate and survival. TMB, alongside other genomic biomarkers, may provide complementary information in selecting patients for ICPI-based therapies.

    View details for DOI 10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0244

    View details for Web of Science ID 000491932900001

    View details for PubMedID 31578273

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6964127

  • Reentrainment Impairs Spatial Working Memory until Both Activity Onset and Offset Reentrain. Journal of biological rhythms Ruby, N. F., Patton, D. F., Bane, S., Looi, D., Heller, H. C. 2015; 30 (5): 408-416


    Compression of the active phase (?) during reentrainment to phase-shifted light-dark (LD) cycles is a common feature of circadian systems, but its functional consequences have not been investigated. This study tested whether ? compression in Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) impaired their spatial working memory as assessed by spontaneous alternation (SA) behavior in a T-maze. Animals were exposed to a 1- or 3-h phase delay of the LD cycle (16 h light/8 h dark). SA behavior was tested at 4 multiday intervals after the phase shift, and ? was quantified for those days. All animals failed at the SA task while ? was decompressing but recovered spatial memory ability once ? returned to baseline levels. A second experiment exposed hamsters to a 2-h light pulse either early or late at night to compress ? without phase-shifting the LD cycle. SA behavior was impaired until ? decompressed to baseline levels. In a third experiment, ? was compressed by changing photoperiod (LD 16:8, 18:6, 20:4) to see if absolute differences in ? were related to spatial memory ability. Animals performed the SA task successfully in all 3 photoperiods. These data show that the dynamic process of ? compression and decompression impairs spatial working memory and suggests that ? modulation is a potential biomarker for assessing the impact of transmeridian flight or shift work on memory.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0748730415596254

    View details for PubMedID 26224657

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