Computational algorithm-driven evaluation of monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cell frequency for prediction of clinical outcomes

Cancer Immunol Res. 2014 Aug;2(8):812-21. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-14-0013. Epub 2014 May 20.


Evaluation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), a cell type implicated in T-cell suppression, may inform immune status. However, a uniform methodology is necessary for prospective testing as a biomarker. We report the use of a computational algorithm-driven analysis of whole blood and cryopreserved samples for monocytic MDSC (m-MDSC) quantity that removes variables related to blood processing and user definitions. Applying these methods to samples from patients with melanoma identifies differing frequency distribution of m-MDSC relative to that in healthy donors. Patients with a pretreatment m-MDSC frequency outside a preliminary definition of healthy donor range (<14.9%) were significantly more likely to achieve prolonged overall survival following treatment with ipilimumab, an antibody that promotes T-cell activation and proliferation. m-MDSC frequencies were inversely correlated with peripheral CD8(+) T-cell expansion following ipilimumab. Algorithm-driven analysis may enable not only development of a novel pretreatment biomarker for ipilimumab therapy, but also prospective validation of peripheral blood m-MDSCs as a biomarker in multiple disease settings.

Trial registration: NCT00495066 NCT00920907.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • HLA-DR Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Ipilimumab
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / immunology
  • Male
  • Melanoma / drug therapy
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Myeloid Cells / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Ipilimumab
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors

Associated data