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NCI Investigator on the Outcomes of a Research Exploring Intercourse Bias Associated to TMB as a Biomarker of PD-1 Inhibitors

CancerNetwork® sat down with Sanju Sinha, a graduate student who works with computational biologist Eytan Ruppin, MD, PhD, at the National Cancer Institute to discuss a summary that will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting for the 2021 The topic tumor presented was mutation load (TMB) as a biomarker for PD-1 inhibition. He and his team found that for certain types of tumors, the effect of TMB on therapy response varied between the sexes.


There are mainly 3 takeaways from our study and it is important to record them in order. We first observed that for melanoma, there was a marked difference in survival between these two groups of low and high TMB in men and women. In particular, TMB is able to stratify the responders in female patients, but these responders not in male patients. This is the first recording.

The second aspect is that we didn’t see such a difference in lung cancer, even though we had a fairly large one [number of patients with lung cancer]. The third aspect is that we actually found such differences, and then we expanded the analysis to [seven] different types of cancer. And these differences are specific to two types of cancer, glioblastoma and cancer of unknown origin. However, we must note that these differences [were recorded with an] Effect size that is not significant. We have yet to repeat this analysis. We encourage other researchers to repeat this analysis in different large, independent cohorts.


Sinha N., Sinha S., Cheng K. et al. The recently approved high TMB criteria may induce sexual bias in response to PD1 inhibitors. Presented at: AACR Annual Meeting 2021; 10-15 April 2021; virtual. Abstract 29.