Diagnostic for Monitoring Response to Immunotherapies for Gynecologic Cancer

Case ID:

This invention is a collection of immunological checkpoint proteins and physiological markers to diagnose and potentially monitor treatments for cervical cancer. This biomarker panel would be taken using the cervicovaginal lavage method, which is a less invasive than other sampling method for cervical cancer. This diagnostic test could be used not only for diagnosing cervical cancer, but also monitoring a patient's response to immunotherapy. It could also be utilized in precision medicine to determine which immunotherapeutic regimen would be the most effective for a particular individual.



Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women with an estimated 570,000 new cases in 2018 representing 6.6% of all female cancers. The overall 5-year survival for all stages of cervical cancer is only 68% with overall survival for advance cervical cancer being 16.8 months. Currently, there are only two FDA approved immunotherapy options for the treatment of recurred or metastasized cervical cancer: anti-VEGF antibodies and immune checkpoint inhibitor targeting PD-1. However, only 20% of patients respond positively to anti-PD-1 treatment. A large portion of those that do respond to treatment also have large toxicity issues. A collection of immunological biomarkers sampled from vaginal cells could help decrease both incidence of cancer and morbidity by helping create customized therapeutic treatment regimens for patients.



  • Diagnostic test for predicting response to immunotherapy
  • Pre-screening measure for cervical cancer
  • Monitoring effectiveness of immunotherapy treatment over time


  • Individualizes immunotherapeutic treatment regimen to patient
  • Predicts toxicity of immunotherapeutic treatment
  • Improves patient outcomes from immunotherapy
  • Non-invasive alternative to blood tests and pap smears
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Garrett Edmunds
Licensing Manager, UAHS-TLA
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz
Pawel Laniewski