Circulating biomarkers of response to immunotherapy and immune-related adverse events

Zachary Garrison, Noah Hornick, Jeffrey Cheng, Rajan P. Kulkarni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Immune checkpoint blockade has revolutionized cancer treatment. However, response rates vary, and these treatments have a high rate of immune-related side effects, which can be limiting. Thus, tests to predict who will respond and who may experience side effects are of critical importance toward realizing the ultimate goal of precision oncology. Areas Covered: We review several of the most recent advances in circulating biomarkers that have been reported to be useful in predicting response and immune-related adverse events (irAE) to checkpoint blockade immunotherapies (CBI). We focus on high-quality studies published within the last few years. We highlight significant findings, identify areas for improvement, and provide recommendations on how these biomarkers may be translated into clinical utility. Expert Opinion: As newer immunotherapies are developed, there is a pressing need to identify circulating biomarkers that can help predict responses and side effects. Current studies are mostly small-scale and retrospective; there is a need for larger-scale and prospective studies to help validate several of the biomarkers detailed here. As oncology focuses more on precision-based approaches, it is likely that a combination of biomarkers, including circulating ones as detailed here, will have critical utility in guiding clinical decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-865
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2022


  • Cancer immunotherapy
  • circulating biomarkers
  • immune-related adverse events
  • PD-1
  • PD-L1
  • precision medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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