Purpose: Immunoprofiling to identify biomarkers and integration with clinical trial outcomes are critical to improving immunotherapy approaches for patients with cancer. However, the translational potential of individual studies is often limited by small sample size of trials and the complexity of immuno-oncology biomarkers. Variability in assay performance further limits comparison and interpretation of data across studies and laboratories.
Experimental design: To enable a systematic approach to biomarker identification and correlation with clinical outcome across trials, the Cancer Immune Monitoring and Analysis Centers and Cancer Immunologic Data Commons (CIMAC-CIDC) Network was established through support of the Cancer MoonshotSM Initiative of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Partnership for Accelerating Cancer Therapies (PACT) with industry partners via the Foundation for the NIH.
Results: The CIMAC-CIDC Network is composed of four academic centers with multidisciplinary expertise in cancer immunotherapy that perform validated and harmonized assays for immunoprofiling and conduct correlative analyses. A data coordinating center (CIDC) provides the computational expertise and informatics platforms for the storage, integration, and analysis of biomarker and clinical data.
Conclusions: This overview highlights strategies for assay harmonization to enable cross-trial and cross-site data analysis and describes key elements for establishing a network to enhance immuno-oncology biomarker development. These include an operational infrastructure, validation and harmonization of core immunoprofiling assays, platforms for data ingestion and integration, and access to specimens from clinical trials. Published in the same volume are reports of harmonization for core analyses: whole-exome sequencing, RNA sequencing, cytometry by time of flight, and IHC/immunofluorescence.
©2021 American Association for Cancer Research.