Skip main navigation

How does mutation in a tumour affect the success of checkpoint blockade therapy?

This video discusses how the level of mutations in tumours can affect responses to checkpoint blockade therapy
13.9
SPEAKER 1: This graph enables us to think about how the level of changes in achievement compared to normal cells or mutations varies across different humans and different patients. Each patient is represented by a dot, with increasing levels of changes plotted higher up the curve. Patients have been grouped according to tumour, with the tumours arranged left-to-right, in order of increasing levels of changes. In the previous video, we mentioned that checkpoint blockade is able to unleash responses to mutated bits of the tumour. Here, we would like you to consider four questions. Firstly, checkpoint blockade has being relatively successful in melanoma, a type of skin cancer, and also in lung cancer, both highlighted in green towards the right-hand side of the plot.
62.3
Does this fit with our idea that, in these tumours, this therapy works because it unleashes responses to changed or mutated targets?
75.3
Secondly, in contrast, checkpoint blockade has been relatively unsuccessful in prostate cancer, highlighted here in red in the middle of the plot. Why do you think this might be the case?
95.8
Thirdly, what do you notice about the differences between different patients– different dots– within a particular tumour type? As an example, look at colorectal cancer, highlighted here. In this patient group, some patients respond– shown in green– and others tend not to, shown in red. How can you explain the different responses? Could differences in the level of changed or mutated targets explain why some people respond to checkpoint blockade?
130.6
Finally, choose a different tumour and have a think whether this therapy is likely to work. For example, stomach cancer, head and neck cancer, renal cancer, liver cancer, or brain cancer– such as glioma or glioblastoma.
Watch the video presented by Professor Ben Willcox. As you watch, consider how the level of changes or mutations in a particular tumour can affect the response of a patient to checkpoint blockade therapy.
The questions in the video are included in the discussion Step 3.9, where you can post your answers and/or comments to compare your thoughts with other learners.
This article is from the free online

Cancer Immunotherapy: a Step Change in Cancer Treatment

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education