The Biomarkers Consortium (BC) is issuing a Request For Proposals (RFP) for novel biomarker development to support the mission of the BC Cancer Steering Committee (CSC) Immunotherapy Working Group (IO WG). The Immunotherapy Working Group (IO WG) of the BC-CSC was initiated in 2019 to identify and validate biomarkers that can be used to improve the success rate and reduce the unintended consequences of IO application. The WG recognizes the challenges to effective immunotherapy-containing regimens posed by intra- and inter-site heterogeneity of the tumor microenvironment (TME). One goal of the group is to explore and quantify intra-tumoral heterogeneity in stromal cells, infiltrating immune/inflammatory cells, and cells intrinsic to the tumor through the retrospective examination of published data and through prospective study of tumor tissue. This pre-competitive effort seeks to set a standard for classification and quantification of heterogeneity that can be applied broadly by other research groups to achieve a more precise and nuanced understanding of the extent to which the type and degree of heterogeneity may confound or complicate understanding of tumor responses to immunotherapies alone or in combination.
The IO WG invites investigators to submit brief project concept proposals for application of novel biomarkers to public-private consortium efforts in either of two identified challenge areas. Proposals will be considered for funding under the BC precompetitive project model, described in the IO WG Request for Proposals.
- The impact of epigenetic changes on the interaction of the tumor and tumor microenvironment; understanding the role of epigenetics in response or resistance to immune modulatory therapy.
- Mechanisms of tumor and immune system interaction, and immune cell positioning in or exclusion from tumors.