Robert Anders, MD, PhD - Keeping Up With Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy and Biomarker Testing: Implications for Pathologists at the Forefront of the Emerging Precision Immuno-Oncology Era


Manage episode 234084690 series 9912
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Go online to to view the activity, download slides and practice aids, and complete the post-test to earn credit. Cancer immunotherapies are demonstrating remarkable clinical activity in an increasing number of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. Reliable biomarkers are needed to guide clinical decisions regarding treatment selection and identification of patients who are most likely to benefit. Testing for programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression and the presence of DNA mismatch repair deficiencies (dMMR) or high levels of microsatellite instability (MSI-H) should presently be routinely done in oncology and pathology practice in alignment with the latest recommendations and indications. Assessment of tumor mutational burden (TMB) is also showing great promise as a new and distinct predictor of benefit from cancer immunotherapies. Other novel biomarkers are undergoing investigations as well. How can pathologists ensure that immuno-oncology biomarker testing is carried out according to best practices, and collaborate with oncologists and other members of the cancer care team in interpreting the results to guide therapeutic decisions for patients with cancer? In this activity, based on a recent CME/MOC/CC-certified symposium held during the 2019 Annual Meeting of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) held in National Harbor, Maryland, a panel of experts discuss the latest clinical advances with cancer immunotherapies and the research underway to further refine biomarker testing and maximize the use of checkpoint inhibitors and combinations across a broad spectrum of malignancies. Upon completion of this activity, participants should be better able to: Characterize the efficacy/safety profiles and clinical roles of the current and emerging immunotherapies and combinations across the spectrum of solid and liquid cancers, Describe evidence supporting the use of PD-L1, MMR/MSI, TMB, and other promising biomarkers as predictors of benefit from cancer immunotherapies, Discuss practical aspects of immunotherapy biomarker testing and interpretation, including benefits/limitations of different testing methodologies, assays, cut-points, and other nuances, Assess the potential role of novel strategies and technologies being evaluated as part of cancer immunotherapy biomarker development for predictive and other purposes, Implement best practices for cancer immunotherapy biomarker testing in community and academic settings based on the latest evidence and recommendations, Establish effective strategies for interdisciplinary collaboration among pathologists, oncologists, and other key professionals regarding biomarker testing and interpretation to guide decisions about the use of cancer immunotherapies and combinations in patients with cancer.

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