Scientists have identified a pattern of genetic changes that could pick out men with advanced prostate cancer who are likely to benefit from immunotherapy.
Developing a genetic test to pick out these men could speed up the path of immunotherapy into use for prostate cancer patients.
A major clinical trial earlier this month became the first to show that immunotherapy could work in advanced prostate cancer – but only for about 10 per cent of men.
Now the new study, involving scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has discovered that testing the genetics of prostate tumours could identify the likely responders.
The research, published today (Thursday) in the prestigious journal Cell, found that men whose tumours had a distinct pattern of genetic changes could be much more likely to benefit from immunotherapy than otherwise.
The study was supported by funders including the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Stand Up 2 Cancer.
Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) worked with colleagues at the University of Michigan in the US to analyse tumour DNA collected internationally from 360 men with advanced prostate cancer that had spread.
They found that the tumours of 7 per cent of these men were missing both copies of a gene called
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