Emerging Technologies for Non-invasive Monitoring of Treatment Response to Immunotherapy for Brain Tumors. Neuromolecular medicine Mathios, D., Srivastava, S., Kim, T., Bettegowda, C., Lim, M. 2021


Glioblastoma is the most common primary malignant brain tumor and one of the most aggressive tumors across all cancer types with remarkable resistance to any treatment. While immunotherapy has shown a robust clinical benefit in systemic cancers, its benefit is still under investigation in brain cancers. The broader use of immunotherapy in clinical trials for glioblastoma has highlighted the challenges of traditional methods of monitoring progression via imaging. Development of new guidelines, advanced imaging techniques, and immune profiling have emerged to counter premature diagnoses of progressive disease. However, these approaches do not provide a timely diagnosis and are costly and time consuming. Surgery is currently the standard of care for diagnosis of pseudoprogression in cases where MRI is equivocal. However, it is invasive, risky, and disruptive to patient's lives and their oncological treatment. With its increased vascularity, glioblastoma is continually shedding tumor components into the vasculature including tumor cells, genetic material, and extracellular vesicles. These elements can be isolated from routine blood draws and provide a real-time non-invasive indicator of tumor progression. Liquid biopsy therefore presents as an attractive alternative to current methods to guide treatment. While the initial evaluation of liquid biopsy for brain tumors via identification of mutations in the plasma was disappointing, novel technologies and use of alternatives to plasma cell-free DNA analytes provide promise for an effective liquid biopsy approach in brain tumors. This review aims to summarize developments in the use of liquid biopsy to monitor glioblastoma, especially in the context of immunotherapy.

View details for DOI 10.1007/s12017-021-08677-9

View details for PubMedID 34297308