Using genomics for cancer immunotherapy

Washington, D.C., USA, April 9, 2013 – At the Annual Meeting of the American Asscociation for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C., TRON director Ugur Sahin presents recent data on how TRON uses genomics to identify mutational tumor antigens for cancer immunotherapy. Fellow session speakers are Robert Schreiber (Washington University School of Medicine), James P. Allison (UT MD Anderson Cancer Center) and Pramod Srivastava (University of Connecticut Health Center), summing up approaches taken by four different groups to bring genomics based personalized cancer immunotherapies to reality.

Recent methodological advances in cancer genome sequencing has made it possible to define expressed mutations in tumor cells in a rapid and financially feasible manner. This work has revealed that all cancer cells express mutations and some of these, regardless of whether they are driver or passenger mutations, may represent tumor specific neoantigens.

This finding raises the possibility that cancer exome analysis when combined with the use of predictive immunoepitope analysis may provide a mechanism to induce immune responses in a cancer patient that are totally specific for the tumor and not react against the patient’s normal cells.