Tumor mutation burden test for better understanding of immuno-therapy

Chennai: MedGenome Labs has launched Tumor Mutation Burden (TMB) test to help clinicians take informed decision on immuno-therapy for their cancer patients.

Immuno-therapy is a concept in cancer treatment, where the approach is to use body’s immune system to kill the cancer cells. A crucial aspect of success of tumor mutation burden test is that the body’s immune system should differentiate cancer cells and normal cells.

The mechanism by which the body’s immune system can differentiate between cancer cells and normal cells is based on the expression of ‘neo-antigens’.They are altered self-proteins which result from a change in the self-protein due to a mutation. Thus, the key factors leading to expression of neo-antigens on the cell surface is presence of mutation in the cancer cell exome.

TMB is defined as the total number of nonsynonymous mutations in the tumor exome. Tumor cells are genetically unstable and harbor high levels of somatic mutations which may result in the expression of neoantigens.

 

NT Bureau