Neoepitope specific T cells can be functionally irrelevant

Mainz, December, 2018 – TRON is proud to have taken part in the research that lead to this publication in OncoImmunology.

This publication – in collaboration with scientists from BioNTech, DKFZ, JPT, and the University Medicine Mainz – points to hurdles on our way to highly personalized cancer immunotherapy. The research group investigated neoepitope-specific CD8+ T-cell responses – either spontaneously or after immunotherapy regimens – which induce local tumor inflammation and cell death. Surprisingly, even though all tested treatment regimens were found to induce a single significant CD8+ T-cell response, neither neoepitope-specific T cells nor their T cell receptors (TCRs) were able to recognize or lyse tumor cells. Hence, the publication concludes that neoepitope specific CD8+ T cells primed by tumor-released antigen exposure can be functionally irrelevant.