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As doctors, scientists, and investors try to pick apart which powerful cancer immunotherapy is the best bet for patients, there’s an emerging new tool that might clear up the fog around a whole class of medicines — if its predictive promise can be confirmed in large clinical trials.

It’s called tumor mutation burden, or TMB, and it’s essentially a measure of just how unique a patient’s cancer might be. It could also help doctors identify which patients might benefit from immunotherapies called checkpoint inhibitors.

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