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What boosts immune boosters? with Kevin Litchfield

Novel drugs that boost the immune system to fight cancer have become pharma darlings in the few short years since their approval. These drugs, known as immunotherapies, have so far focused on improving T cell responses and can be used to cure a multitude of different cancer types. Yet more often than not, immunotherapies have no effect on a patient, leaving doctors guessing on whether to prescribe the drug. To find the reason why some people respond while others don’t, Kevin and his team create a huge database of sequences derived from immunotherapy-treated patients. With it, he discovers biomarkers, mutational signatures, and immune profiles that correlate to response with the hopes that one day, these measurements form a diagnostic to ensure we treat the right patients.

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