Biomarker-guided stratification of autoimmune patients for biologic therapy

Curr Opin Immunol. 2017 Dec;49:56-63. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2017.09.006. Epub 2017 Oct 17.


Autoimmunity results from an intersection of genetic and environmental factors that cause patient-specific perturbations in immune homeostasis. Defining autoimmunity-associated genetic factors has led to mechanistic insight into underlying etiologies, and the development of many biologic therapies that target the immune system. However, biomarker-informed pairing of patients with optimal biologic therapy is lacking. Here, we discuss platforms commonly used to find biomarkers that predict response to biologic therapy in autoimmunity and highlight recent biomarker discoveries. We also outline how the lack of assay standardization is a barrier to successful biomarker validation. Finally, we argue that the successful development of companion biomarkers for biologic therapy requires collaborative approaches that integrate multiple platforms and enable comprehensive measurement of multiple immune pathways.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy*
  • Biological Therapy*
  • Biomarkers, Pharmacological / metabolism*
  • Gene-Environment Interaction
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Reference Standards
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers, Pharmacological