Cancer has been world-wide acknowledged as a cell-cycle disease wherein the tumour mutations exhibit control over DNA replications, proteins of the cell cycles, and the repair mechanisms of DNA leading to an uncontrolled cell growth. Over the past few years, the cancer research industry has undergone a paradigm of transitions thereby emphasizing interaction of the tumour with the immune system of the body.
Cancerous cells mutations facilitate a gradual shift in establishing the balance in the antigen recognition ability of the immune system. This further facilitates the immune system to evade thereby continuing to grow. Such advances has paved the way for the development of new cancer therapy classes specifically hindering immune effector evasion by cancer for potentially expanding anti-cancerous immune responses.
Immuno-oncology has been acknowledged as one of the significant opportunities throughout the stages of drug discovery and development for oncogenesis. Ability for harnessing every person’s immune response for dampening the deadly tumorous cells has given goosebumps to the development of the precision medicines.
What do you mean by immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is a process of strengthening as well as stimulating the ability of the immune system for recognizing a tumour or providing a vacant immune effector function. Both the innate as well as adaptive immune mechanisms participates actively in recognition as well as control of the tumorous cells. Immunotherapy helps in stimulating the immune system for responding to the adaptations of the cancer cells or acknowledging new responses.
Immunotherapies have been and will continue to be utilized as one of the most appropriate standards alongside the traditional ones such as radiotherapies or chemotherapies. Immunotherapies primary goal is employing precision medicine for the determination of the drug’s efficacy across each individual and their cancer type. Immunologic biomarkers spanning cytokine response, DNA, cells, cytokine responses, etc should be regularly measured throughout the trials. Such biomarkers help in the elucidation of the targeted population of a potent drug candidate for modifying its formulation mechanism. Such types of decision-making processes require inputs from robust bioanalytical assays backed with multiple technologies for properly validating the analyte stabilities, specificities, and biological variabilities.
There are certain challenges for bioanalytical laboratory that goes in the way of these therapies as well since they rely heavily on personalized immune responses that varies widely amongst individuals. This further necessitates the requirement for developing the tools for facilitating the identification of patients who can benefit from a particular set of immunotherapy treatments. Thus, bioanalytical techniques such as cell-based assays, biomarker assays, gene expressions, flow cytometry’s, and immune response assays employed for the purpose of drug approvals should be efficiently developed and validated.
Analysing tumour and immune cells are critical for developing immunotherapy for determining whether a patient is a target candidate for the therapy and how promptly are they responding to it. This can include tumour mutation analysis, indicator of the check point, as well as the status of tumour antigen. Thus, obtaining tissue biopsies for studies has often become difficult and the whole blood analysis may fail the process of detecting the rarest forms of tumour cells.