Emerging immuno-oncology mechanisms at ASH 2019

Immune system biomarkers take center stage among emerging targets at ASH 2019

Researchers are finding new ways to monitor the immune system in hematologic diseases that could have implications for optimizing immuno-oncology therapies, according to BioCentury’s analysis of emerging targets at ASH 2019.

In abstracts released ahead of this year’s meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), BioCentury identifies 25 emerging targets, 12 of which are involved in immunity.

Emerging targets are identified according to a formula that accounts for a marked increase in mentions after appearing in two or fewer abstracts the previous year.

Innate immune mechanisms outnumber adaptive immune mechanisms among the emerging targets, though both feature heavily.

Nearly all of the emerging targets are described as putative biomarkers that could identify patients sensitive or resistant to various types of immunotherapies, or help design new immunotherapies.

The emphasis on immunity mirrors the trends BioCentury observes in its analysis of all 4,780 abstracts at ASH 2019, such as progress in allogeneic cell therapies and bispecifics that recruit immune cells to tumors, as well as new insights into the mechanisms that induce phenotype switching in immune cells (see "Bispecifics and Allogeneics Steal the Spotlight from Autologous CAR Ts at ASH 2019” and "A View of Immune Reprogramming from ASH").

BioCentury’s analysis of new targets at ASH paints a different picture. Only one of the 17 new targets is immune-related; the biggest concentrations of the

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