While immunotherapeutic strategies are emerging as adjunctive treatments for cancer, sensitive methods of monitoring the immune response after treatment remain to be established. We used a novel next generation sequencing (NGS) approach to determine whether quantitative assessments of tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) content and the degree of overlap of T cell receptor (TCR) sequences in brain tumors and peripheral blood were predictors of immune response and overall survival in glioblastoma (GBM) patients treated with autologous tumor lysate-pulsed dendritic cell (DC) immunotherapy. A significant correlation was found between a higher estimated TIL content and increased time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS). In addition, we were able to assess the proportion of shared TCR sequences between tumor and peripheral blood at time points before and after therapy, and found the level of TCR overlap to correlate with survival outcomes. Higher degrees of overlap, or the development of an increased overlap following immunotherapy, correlated with improved clinical outcome, and may provide insights into the successful, antigen-specific immune response.
- Received September 20, 2015.
- Revision received January 21, 2016.
- Accepted January 29, 2016.
- Copyright ©2016, American Association for Cancer Research.