Tumor fitness, immune exhaustion and clinical outcomes: impact of immune checkpoint inhibitors

Adrian Bubie, Edgar Gonzalez-Kozlova, Nicholas Akers, Augusto Villanueva, Bojan Losic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Recently proposed tumor fitness measures, based on profiling neoepitopes for reactive viral epitope similarity, have been proposed to predict response to immune checkpoint inhibitors in melanoma and small-cell lung cancer. Here we applied these checkpoint based fitness measures to the matched checkpoint treatment naive Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) samples where cytolytic activity (CYT) imparts a known survival benefit. We observed no significant survival predictive power beyond that of overall patient tumor mutation burden, and furthermore, found no association between checkpoint based fitness and tumor T-cell infiltration, cytolytic activity, and abundance (tumor infiltrating lymphocyte, TIL, burden). In addition, we investigated the key assumption of viral epitope similarity driving immune response in the hepatitis B virally infected liver cancer TCGA cohort, and uncovered suggestive evidence that tumor neoepitopes actually dominate viral epitopes in putative immunogenicity and plausibly drive immune response and recruitment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5062
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020


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