Immunomonitoring in glioma immunotherapy: current status and future perspectives

J Neurooncol. 2016 Mar;127(1):1-13. doi: 10.1007/s11060-015-2018-4. Epub 2015 Dec 5.


Given the continued poor clinical outcomes and refractory nature of glioblastoma multiforme to traditional interventions, immunotherapy is gaining traction due to its potential for specific tumor-targeting and long-term antitumor protective surveillance. Currently, development of glioma immunotherapy relies on overall survival as an endpoint in clinical trials. However, the identification of surrogate immunologic biomarkers can accelerate the development of successful immunotherapeutic strategies. Immunomonitoring techniques possess the potential to elucidate immunological mechanisms of antitumor responses, monitor disease progression, evaluate therapeutic effect, identify candidates for immunotherapy, and serve as prognostic markers of clinical outcome. Current immunomonitoring assays assess delayed-type hypersensitivity, T cell proliferation, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte function, cytokine secretion profiles, antibody titers, and lymphocyte phenotypes. Yet, no single immunomonitoring technique can reliably predict outcomes, relegating immunological markers to exploratory endpoints. In response, the most recent immunomonitoring assays are incorporating emerging technologies and novel analysis techniques to approach the goal of identifying a competent immunological biomarker which predicts therapy responsiveness and clinical outcome. This review addresses the current status of immunomonitoring in glioma vaccine clinical trials with emphasis on correlations with clinical response.

Keywords: Glioblastoma; Glioma; Immunomonitoring; Immunotherapy; Vaccine.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / immunology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Glioma / immunology
  • Glioma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*