Gene-based Diagnostic Predicts Patient Response to Cancer Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a promising method of treating cancer that leverages the immune system to promote tumor rejection. However, certain somatic mutations in cancer cells confer resistance to T cell-mediated cytolysis. To improve the effectiveness of immunotherapies for cancer, there exists a need to prospectively identify patients who are most likely to respond to such therapies.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a method of selecting a therapy for a cancer patient by screening for known mutations which confer immune resistance. By performing a whole genome wide CRISPR-Cas9 screen, the researchers discovered a novel set of genes required for T-cell mediated tumor clearance. The results of this screen were combined with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) datasets and then cross-validated to determine immune sensitivity in multiple human cancers. Through their studies, the researchers have identified genes that are essential for eliciting an effective T-cell response.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Development of a companion diagnostic for cancer immunotherapies, particularly adoptive cell therapies
  • Resistant properties imparted by these genes has been validated by functionally knocking them out in cancer cells
  • These genes correlate with T cell cytolytic activity across most cancer types

Related Invention(s):


Shashankkumar Patel (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Nicholas Restifo (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Application No. 62/418,461
PCT Application No. PCT/US2017/60304
US Application No. 16/347,778

Patel SJ, et al. PMID 28783722

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Cancer Institute, Surgery Branch, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize this method of using a set of novel genes to determine an appropriate therapy for a cancer patient. Contact John D. Hewes, Ph.D. at 240-276-5515 or

Licensing Contact:
Andrew Burke, Ph.D.
Phone: 240-276-5484

OTT Reference No: E-022-2017-0
Updated: Nov 16, 2017