Identification and Characterization of Neoantigens As Well As Respective Immune Responses in Cancer Patients

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Cancer immunotherapy has recently emerged as a powerful tool for the treatment of diverse advanced malignancies. In particular, therapeutic application of immune checkpoint modulators, such as anti-CTLA4 or anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies, have shown efficacy in a broad range of malignant diseases. Although pharmacodynamics of these immune modulators are complex, recent studies strongly support the notion that altered peptide ligands presented on tumor cells representing neoantigens may play an essential role in tumor rejection by T cells activated by anti-CTLA4 and anti-PD-1 antibodies. Neoantigens may have diverse sources as viral and mutated proteins. Moreover, posttranslational modifications and altered antigen processing may also contribute to the neoantigenic peptide ligand landscape. Different approaches of target identification are currently applied in combination with subsequent characterization of autologous and non-self T-cell responses against such neoantigens. Additional efforts are required to elucidate key characteristics and interdependences of neoantigens, immunodominance, respective T-cell responses, and the tumor microenvironment in order to define decisive determinants involved in effective T-cell-mediated tumor rejection. This review focuses on our current knowledge of identification and characterization of such neoantigens as well as respective T-cell responses. It closes with challenges to be addressed in future relevant for further improvement of immunotherapeutic strategies in malignant diseases.




Bräunlein, E., & Krackhardt, A. M. (2017, November 30). Identification and Characterization of Neoantigens As Well As Respective Immune Responses in Cancer Patients. Frontiers in Immunology. Frontiers Media S.A.

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