Mildner F, et al. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 2020 - Review.
In the highly dynamic field of advanced malignancies, biomarkers from liquid samples are urgently needed to improve treatment tailoring. However, the heterogenic data lack direct comparison of assays, vectors and relevant validations are rarely found. Therefore, we classified the available studies based on three categories: Measured vectors, applied technique and detected biomarker. High blood tumor mutational burden and low baseline levels of soluble programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1)
appear to predict treatment responses to immunotherapy. A high PD-1+ CD4+ T-cell count was associated with poor overall survival, PD-1+CD8+ T-cells connect to a favorable outcome. Circulating tumor cells expressing PD-L1 were mainly associated with poor overall survival and treatment failure. CONCLUSION: Measurement of immunological factors as liquid biomarkers is feasible and has shown promising results. The use of coherent nomenclatures, cross-platform assay comparisons and validations through appropriate powered clinical trials are urgently required to push this auspicious field.