D Quandt, H Dieter Zucht, A Amann, A Wulf-Goldenberg, C Borrebaeck, M Cannarile, D Lambrechts, H Oberacher, J Garrett, T Nayak, M Kazinski, C Massie, H Schwarzenbach, M Maio, R Prins, B Wendik, R Hockett, D Enderle, M Noerholm, H Hendriks, H Zwierzina, B Seliger
During the last decade, novel immunotherapeutic strategies, in particular antibodies directed against immune checkpoint inhibitors, have revolutionized the treatment of different malignancies leading to an improved survival of patients. Identification of immune-related biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, monitoring of immune responses and selection of patients for specific cancer immunotherapies is urgently required and therefore areas of intensive research. Easily accessible samples in particular liquid biopsies (body fluids), such as blood, saliva or urine, are preferred for serial tumor biopsies.Although monitoring of immune and tumor responses prior, during and post immunotherapy has led to significant advances of patients' outcome, valid and stable prognostic biomarkers are still missing. This might be due to the limited capacity of the technologies employed, reproducibility of results as well as assay stability and validation of results. Therefore solid approaches to assess immune regulation and modulation as well as to follow up the nature of the tumor in liquid biopsies are urgently required to discover valuable and relevant biomarkers including sample preparation, timing of the collection and the type of liquid samples. This article summarizes our knowledge of the well-known liquid material in a new context as liquid biopsy and focuses on collection and assay requirements for the analysis and the technical developments that allow the implementation of different high-throughput assays to detect alterations at the genetic and immunologic level, which could be used for monitoring treatment efficiency, acquired therapy resistance mechanisms and the prognostic value of the liquid biopsies.