Biomarkers and computational models for predicting efficacy to tumor ICI immunotherapy

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

View graph of relations


Original languageEnglish
Article number1368749
Journal / PublicationFrontiers in Immunology
Online published8 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024



Numerous studies have shown that immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) immunotherapy has great potential as a cancer treatment, leading to significant clinical improvements in numerous cases. However, it benefits a minority of patients, underscoring the importance of discovering reliable biomarkers that can be used to screen for potential beneficiaries and ultimately reduce the risk of overtreatment. Our comprehensive review focuses on the latest advancements in predictive biomarkers for ICI therapy, particularly emphasizing those that enhance the efficacy of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) inhibitors immunotherapies. We explore biomarkers derived from various sources, including tumor cells, the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME), body fluids, gut microbes, and metabolites. Among them, tumor cells-derived biomarkers include tumor mutational burden (TMB) biomarker, tumor neoantigen burden (TNB) biomarker, microsatellite instability (MSI) biomarker, PD-L1 expression biomarker, mutated gene biomarkers in pathways, and epigenetic biomarkers. TIME-derived biomarkers include immune landscape of TIME biomarkers, inhibitory checkpoints biomarkers, and immune repertoire biomarkers. We also discuss various techniques used to detect and assess these biomarkers, detailing their respective datasets, strengths, weaknesses, and evaluative metrics. Furthermore, we present a comprehensive review of computer models for predicting the response to ICI therapy. The computer models include knowledge-based mechanistic models and data-based machine learning (ML) models. Among the knowledge-based mechanistic models are pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) models, partial differential equation (PDE) models, signal networks-based models, quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) models, and agent-based models (ABMs). ML models include linear regression models, logistic regression models, support vector machine (SVM)/random forest/extra trees/k-nearest neighbors (KNN) models, artificial neural network (ANN) and deep learning models. Additionally, there are hybrid models of systems biology and ML. We summarized the details of these models, outlining the datasets they utilize, their evaluation methods/metrics, and their respective strengths and limitations. By summarizing the major advances in the research on predictive biomarkers and computer models for the therapeutic effect and clinical utility of tumor ICI, we aim to assist researchers in choosing appropriate biomarkers or computer models for research exploration and help clinicians conduct precision medicine by selecting the best biomarkers. © 2024 Qin, Huo, Liu and Li.

Research Area(s)

  • tumor, ICI immunotherapy, biomarkers, computational models, prediction of treatment effectiveness

Download Statistics

No data available