Immunotherapy and Biomarkers in Sarcoma

Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2022 Mar;23(3):415-438. doi: 10.1007/s11864-022-00944-6. Epub 2022 Mar 9.


Sarcoma describes a rare and heterogeneous group of diseases. Current treatment options for metastatic sarcoma are quite limited. Conventional treatments with chemotherapy or anti-angiogenic agents result in a non-durable response and a survival rate of approximately 12 to 18 months. In addition, the benefits of such treatments remain limited in some sarcoma subtypes only. Immunotherapy is an emerging treatment for several cancer types with promising outcomes. Studies at the cellular level have shown a relatively high immunogenicity in some subtypes of sarcoma. It is therefore hypothesized that sarcoma may respond to immunotherapy. However, sarcoma is a heterogeneous disease and differences in terms of immunogenicity exist. A multitude of immune-based treatment approaches for sarcoma have been explored. This includes immune checkpoint inhibitors, therapeutic vaccines, and adoptive cell therapy. Single-agent immunotherapy has exhibited efficacy against some sarcoma subtypes, including alveolar soft-part sarcoma, angiosarcoma, and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma. Combination immunotherapy appears superior to single-agent immunotherapy in terms of response, and several ongoing studies of immunotherapy using single/combination immune checkpoint inhibitors and combination with anti-angiogenesis have begun to report beneficial results. Predictive and prognostic biomarkers are also under active investigations, with particular interest in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes or high tumor mutational burden levels. However, the information is still limited and further studies are needed.

Keywords: Adoptive cell therapy; Biomarkers; Bone sarcoma; Immunotherapy; Soft tissue sarcoma; Therapeutic vaccines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Sarcoma* / diagnosis
  • Sarcoma* / etiology
  • Sarcoma* / therapy
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms* / drug therapy


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors