Immuno-oncology (IO) is increasingly prized as an effective therapy in cancer management. The field encompasses a number of approaches with one common thread: they harness the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. Treatments range from cell-based methods, such as adoptive cell therapy (ACT) employing immune cells, to antibodies such as checkpoint inhibitors, which were recognized with a Nobel Prize in 2018.
Advances from bench to bedside have been rapid, culminating in several recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals. Despite this progress, obstacles remain, for example, the high cost and technical difficulties of phenotyping and purifying immune cells.
Puzzlingly, some patients display a remarkable treatment response, whereas others do not, so uncovering the mechanistic basis for these differing outcomes is an active area of research which aims to expand general IO efficacy.
Addressing the challenges facing IO will require improved technical platforms to accelerate discovery. Advanced high throughput flow cytometry addresses the shortcomings of more traditional methods, to stimulate IO research and speed-up innovation. This insightful article addresses some research challenges.