T cell Receptor Sequencing to Predict Clinical Outcome with Cancer Immunotherapy

Tech ID: 25590 / UC Case 2014-092-0

Invention Novelty

This blood-based companion diagnostics contains a method of assessing and monitoring T cell receptor diversity and frequency during the course of cancer immunotherapy administering immune checkpoint inhibitors. This approach can be used as a prediction of patient responsiveness to treatment and as a prognosis for survival outcome.

Value Proposition

Cancer immunotherapy, especially use of immune checkpoint inhibitors against CTLA-4 or PD-1, is emerging as a powerful approach in treatment of cancer. Yet, there is a lack of biomarkers to determine whether a patient will respond to a given immunotherapy, or the effect of treatment on their overall survival. Investigators at UCSF have identified that maintenance of high-frequency T cell clones is associated with a better outcome following immunotherapy. They have demonstrated that the patient’s T cell clonotype frequency can be monitored through a non-invasive blood test, and can be used to inform treatment decisions. This novel invention provides the following advantages: 1. Non-invasive test to predict responsiveness to cancer immunotherapy; 2. Novel tool to rapidly provide a survival prognosis to patients undergoing treatment; 3.Method for designing a personalized treatment plan for patients

Technology Description

The frequency of T cell clones will be monitored through genetic sequencing of recombined T cell receptors, which can be detected from a sample of the patient’s blood. A patient’s T cell clonotype profile will be generated before, as well as during or after a given cancer immunotherapy treatment. The number of T cell clones that change in frequency over time will be analyzed and used to predict responsiveness to the treatment and long-term survival.

Looking for Partners

To develop and commercialize the technology as a blood-based companion diagnostic tool to predict clinical response of a patient to treatment of a cancer by an immune checkpoint pathway inhibitor

Stage of Development


Related Materials

Data Availability

Patient data validated

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20160258025 09/08/2016 2014-092

Additional Patent Pending


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  • Faham, Malek
  • Fong, Lawrence

Other Information


Cancer immunotherapy, Immune checkpoint blockade, CTLA-4, PD-1, T cell receptor sequencing, Biomarkers, Companion diagnostics

Categorized As