LAG-3: new biomarker under investigation in immuno-oncology

LAG-3, or lymphocyte activation gene 3, is a prominent new biomarker currently being researched in immuno-oncology. LAG-3 is an immune checkpoint receptor protein located on the cell surface of certain T cells involved in the immune response.1 LAG-3 expression is associated with T cell desensitization, which results in the progressive loss of the ability to trigger an immune response.In cancer, LAG-3–expressing cells cluster at tumor sites.3,4  

Preclinical studies have shown that the inhibition of LAG-3 improves T cell ability to coordinate immune response.5 Additionally, combining the inhibition of LAG-3 with other immune pathways (eg, anti-programmed cell death-1 [PD-1], anti-PD-1 ligand expression [PD-L1] checkpoint inhibitors) in order to promote anti-tumor activity is another therapeutic approach currently under investigation.

A search of LAG-3 in the 2019 ASCO Abstracts database revealed multiple studies on this promising biomarker are underway. 


  1. Durham NM, Nirschl CJ, Jackson CM, et al. Lymphocyte activation gene 3 (LAG-3) modulates the ability of CD4 T-cells to be suppressed in vivo. PLoS One. 2014 Nov 5;9(11):e109080.
  2. Goldberg MV, Drake CG. LAG-3 in cancer immunotherapy. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2011; 344:269–278. 
  3. Huang CT, Workman CJ, Flies D, et al. Role of LAG-3 in regulatory T cells. Immunity. 2004; 21(4):503-513.     
  4. Camisaschi C, Casati C, Rini F, et al. LAG-3 expression defines a subset of CD4+ CD25high Foxp3+ regulatory T cells that are expanded at tumor sites. J Immunol. 2010; 184(11):6545-6551.     
  5. Grosso JF, Kelleher CC, Harris TJ, et al. LAG-3 regulates CDS+ T cell accumulation and effector function in murine self and tumor-tolerance systems. J Clin Invest. 2007;117(11):3383-3392.
  6. Lichtenegger FS, Rothe M, Schnorfeil FM, et al. Targeting LAG-3 and PD-1 to enhance t cell activation by antigen-presenting cells. Front Immunol. 2018 Feb 27;9:385.

Webinars & Podcasts

Podcast: How Diaceutics is repairing the diagnostic testing ecoystem for patients worldwide
Diaceutics CEO, Peter Keeling joins Pat Kenny on Newstalk FM to discuss how analyzing Big Data to implement better diagnostic testing can help patients access better treatment options for cancer and other life-threatening diseases....
Liquid Biopsy in NSCLC
View all

Expert Insights

The CMS National Coverage Decision on NGS
I. Introduction On March 16, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a National Coverage Determination (NCD) that...
EU IVD Regulation – What does it mean for companion diagnostics and LDTs?
Dave Smart, PhD, Director at Diaceutics, discusses the introduction of the EU IVD Regulation. While it is considered a necessary step, the...
View all expert insights

Competitive Benchmarking Reports

Pharma Precision Medicine Readiness Report 2019
PM Readiness Report 2018 Summary
View all reports


TRK fusion positive cancers: From first clinical data of a TRK inhibitor to future directions
Genetic alterations of neurotrophic tropomyosin or tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) 1/2/3 genes generate TRK fusion proteins have been reported in a variety of adult and child cancers from diverse cell/tissue lineages. Larotrectinib, a...
Challenges in the clinical implementation of precision medicine companion diagnostics
The pace of biomarker discovery has increased exponentially over the last few years,ushering in an era of precision medicine (PM) with a growing arsenal of treatments tailored to specific patient populations....
View all publications