Read our COVID-19 research and news.

Webinar Technology

Emerging liquid biopsy biomarkers: Predicting response and resistance to cancer immunotherapy

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Emerging liquid biopsy biomarkers: Predicting response and resistance to cancer immunotherapy

Recorded 09 October 2019


Despite recent successes in the treatment of solid tumors using highly promising immunotherapeutic agents, the prognosis for most cancer patients remains dire. Only a small subset of patients responds well to PD(L)-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors, while the majority either fail to respond, experience rapid tumor recurrence after initial treatment success, or are overcome by severe toxicities that restrict further treatment options. The limited success rate of immunotherapy is directly linked to the high heterogeneity found in both the preexisting immune response variability and the clonality of the tumor. To overcome these issues, it is critical to find robust, sensitive, and specific predictive and prognostic biomarkers for immunotherapy. Advanced proteomics technologies are enabling an easy, rapid, and noninvasive means for discovering blood-based biomarkers that promise to identify tumor and immune changes associated with immune checkpoint inhibitor response/nonresponse, and uncover biological insights underlying primary resistance and toxicity. At the same time, analysis of liquid biopsies of blood or other bodily fluids have recently showed promise in predicting response to anti-PD(L)-1 therapy. It is also clear that multiprotein signatures may be more powerful and reliable than single protein markers, while combining protein biomarkers with other 'omics approaches and sophisticated data analysis techniques holds enormous potential to establish predictive and/or monitoring tools for immunotherapy.

During the webinar, the speakers will:

  • Explain how whole-plasma proteomic profiling in melanoma and non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients enables discovery of blood-based biomarkers to predict immunotherapy responses, including resistance and toxicity
  • Describe how changes in immune activation during immunotherapy and radiation could be tracked by differentially expressed plasma proteins
  • Clarify how proteomic and transcriptomic biomarkers along with tumor-based analyses can drive patient selection and provide clinically actionable information
  • Demonstrate the relationship of plasma biomarkers to overall survival and progression-free survival in patients with advanced melanoma undergoing immunotherapy
  • Answer viewer questions during the live broadcast.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Genevieve Boland, M.D., Ph.D., FACS

Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA

Dr. Boland is director of the Melanoma Surgery Program at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, as well as director of the Surgical Oncology Research Laboratories and surgical director of the Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies. She completed her general surgical training at MGH, followed by a clinical fellowship in complex general surgical oncology and a combined research fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She then joined the MGH Division of Surgical Oncology, where she is focused on the clinical management of skin cancer patients, specializing in melanoma. She is board certified in general surgery and complex general surgical oncology, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Her laboratory is currently concentrating on molecular profiling of melanoma, characterization of molecular and immunological changes that occur during immunotherapy, and the identification of circulating biomarkers for cancer. Dr. Boland has received many awards, including the American Surgical Association Foundation Fellowship, the Association of Women Surgeons Research Fellowship, the Harvard Catalyst Medical Research Investigator Training Award, the Karin Grunebaum Cancer Foundation Fellowship, and the Society of Surgical Oncology Clinical Investigator Award.

Evert Jan Van Limbergen, M.D., Ph.D.

Maastro Clinic
Maastricht, The Netherlands

Dr. Van Limbergen completed his medical studies in 2007 at the University of Leuven (KUL), completing his training in radiation oncology in 2014. Concurrently, he pursued a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences in radiobiology and molecular biology. Currently, Dr. Van Limbergen is a staff member in the radiotherapy department MAASTRO, linked to the Academic Hospital of Maastricht, in the Netherlands. He also works as a clinical radiation oncologist treating gynecological and urological tumors, and as a researcher focusing on the interaction of radiotherapy and the immune system as well as on novel irradiation techniques using brachytherapy. Dr. Van Limbergen is a faculty member (chair) for the annual prostate cancer delineation workshop of the European Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (ESTRO) and an adviser for the European Organisation for Treatment and Research in Cancer (EORTC) on methods in the clinical research of radiation oncology.


Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

Sponsored by

Get webinar alerts

For more information on upcoming webinars, recorded sessions and more, sign up for webinar alerts.

Sign up here