Despite the remarkable success of anti-cancer immunotherapy, its effectiveness remains confined to a subset of patients—emphasizing the importance of predictive biomarkers in clinical decision-making and further mechanistic understanding of treatment response. Current biomarkers, however, lack the power required to accurately stratify patients. Here, we identify interferon-stimulated, Ly6Ehi neutrophils as a blood-borne biomarker of anti-PD1 response in mice at baseline. Ly6Ehi neutrophils are induced by tumor-intrinsic activation of the STING (stimulator of interferon genes) signaling pathway and possess the ability to directly sensitize otherwise non-responsive tumors to anti-PD1 therapy, in part through IL12b-dependent activation of cytotoxic T cells. By translating our pre-clinical findings to a cohort of patients with non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma (n = 109), and to public data (n = 1440), we demonstrate the ability of Ly6Ehi neutrophils to predict immunotherapy response in humans with high accuracy (average AUC ≈ 0.9). Overall, our study identifies a functionally active biomarker for use in both mice and humans.
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- non-small cell lung cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research