Immunosequencing: Advancing Innovation Toward Better Patient Care
By harnessing the power of the immune system over the past decade, the field of immunotherapy has achieved meaningful advances in cancer treatment. A rapid convergence of immunotherapy, personalized medicine and new theranostics is taking place, with over a dozen immunotherapy agents approved in the last decade alone. The ability of these therapies to unleash a patient’s own T-cells against tumors is revolutionizing cancer treatment across tumor types. These advances highlight the need for reliable immune molecular diagnostics to better stratify, predict and monitor a patient’s immune response.
Immunosequencing is at the heart of this revolution. It is the science of profiling T-cell and B-cell receptors (TCRs and BCRs, respectively) at high-throughput. TCRs and BCRs are specialized cell surface receptors that undergo dynamic rearrangements. This allows the adaptive immune system to recognize and respond to a wide variety of pathogens and antigens and to keep us healthy.
Historically, a mere 30,000 TCR and BCR sequences were identified over the course of 20 years due to technological limitations and high sequencing costs. Today, Seattle-based Adaptive Biotechnologies sequences millions of TCRs and BCRs in a single biospecimen within hours. Since its inception in 2009, Adaptive has sequenced and aggregated data on over 85 billion receptor repertoire sequences and more than 2.5 billion unique sequences. This represents the world’s largest TCR and BCR database, which has the potential to unlock information on a patient’s individualized immune response. Such a treasure trove of information has applications in a broad range of diseases. The massive data and metadata that Adaptive is aggregating may be transformative to how we detect, treat and monitor cancer and other diseases.
Adaptive’s immunosequencing platform provides researchers, collaborators and industry partners with the highest resolution view into a patient’s dynamic adaptive immune system. By combining a multiplex PCR methodology with next-generation sequencing (NGS) and sophisticated bioinformatics, Adaptive’s immunoSEQ® platform enables the molecular profiling of the immune receptor repertoire at an unprecedented resolution and accuracy. Using this technology, Adaptive has developed its first clinical diagnostic, the clonoSEQ® Process, for the ultra-sensitive detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) in patients with blood cancers. Adaptive’s second clinical diagnostic in development, the tilSEQ™ Assay, accurately measures the density and clonality of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), a well-documented biomarker of response in patients with solid tumors. The accurate quantitation of TILs using immunosequencing enables the monitoring of immune response to diverse drug modalities, such as checkpoint inhibitors, vaccines, adoptive cell therapies, targeted therapies plus standard of care and the combinations thereof.
As a pioneer of immunosequencing, Adaptive is driving innovation toward better patient care in a new era of actionable, immune-guided precision medicine.