Engineers are using a non-invasive optical probe to understand the complex changes in tumors after immunotherapy. Their method combines detailed mapping of the biochemical composition of tumors with machine learning.
Immunotherapy really works like magic and has fundamentally changed the way we view how cancer can be managed. However, only around 25 percent of patients derive benefit from it, so there’s an urgent need to identify predictive biomarkers to determine who should receive the treatment.
Raman spectroscopy uses light to determine the molecular composition of materials. The team probed colon cancer tumors in mice treated with the two types of immune checkpoint inhibitors used in immunotherapy, as well as a control group of untreated mice.
The engineers used label-free Raman spectroscopy for elucidating biomolecular changes induced by anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) in the tumor microenvironment (TME) of colorectal tumor xenografts.