Tumor Mutation Burden Associated With Response to
PD- 1 and PD-L1 Inhibitors
An analysis of clinical trials using PD- 1 or PD-L1
inhibitors to treat a total of 27 cancer types found
that tumor mutation burden—a measure of the
mutations carried by a cancer cell—is associated
with treatment response. The findings support
data collected in previous studies that suggest
tumor mutation burden could be a biomarker for
assessing the likelihood a patient’s tumor will
respond to these therapies.
LEARN MORE IN THE DEC. 21, 2017, NEW ENGLAND
JOURNAL OF MEDICINE.
Q&A WITH FREMONTA MEYER ON PTSD
AMONG CANCER SURVIVORS
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often thought of in the context of veterans returning from combat. But research suggests being diagnosed with
and treated for cancer can elicit the same symptoms.
A study published in the Jan. 15, 2018, issue of Cancer looked at 203 cancer
patients who were emotionally distressed shortly after their diagnosis.
The researchers found one in five showed signs of PTSD six months later.
About one-third of these patients still had PTSD four years after their
diagnosis. The study, which was conducted in Malaysia, was co-led by
Fremonta Meyer, a psychiatrist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and
the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
Cancer Today spoke with Meyer about the study’s findings and the
ways in which doctors can help patients who experience trauma after
a cancer diagnosis.
Q: What is PTSD and how does it affect cancer patients?
A: PTSD is a syndrome involving various symptoms that occur in response to
a traumatic stressor. There are a lot of ways that cancer can lead to trauma,
which, in turn, can lead to PTSD. The trauma could be from the diagnosis, the
treatments, the side effects; it could result from being hospitalized or having a
Q: What are the symptoms?
A: Symptoms can include nightmares or intrusive memories—flashbacks—of
things related to the cancer or that were traumatic about it. Another category
of symptoms is change in emotional reactivity, like hypervigilance to potential
threats. For cancer patients, this could be experiencing anxiety or feeling revved