New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
November 19, 2014
Genetic mutations predict response to immunotherapy

Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon-Lilly Clinical Investigator ‘03-‘08) and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, reported a key discovery that explains why some patients respond to Yervoy/ipilimumab, an immunotherapy drug, while others do not. They found that the cancer cells from patients who respond to the drug carry a high number of genetic mutations—some of which make tumors more visible to the immune system, and therefore easier to fight. In the future, the researchers hope to develop a diagnostic test to detect the mutations in melanoma patients, which could help doctors to make more effective treatment decisions. This study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.