Novel approach brings personalized melanoma treatment closer to reality

A team of melanoma researchers used a novel “HLA peptidomics” method to discover and isolate cancer-specific neo-antigens, which could be used to train immune system cells for targeting and destruction of the tumor. The quest for tumor-associated-antigens (TAAs) and neo-antigens is a vital focus of cancer immunotherapy. Neo-antigens are those that are entirely absent from the normal human genome. They are of relevance to tumor control, as the quality of the T-cell pool that is available for these antigens is not affected by central T-cell tolerance. Investigators at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovot, Israel), Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (Haifa), and their collaborators combined a neo-antigen prediction-pipeline and human-leukocyte-antigen (HLA)-peptidomics to identify TAAs and neo-antigens in 16 tumors derived from seven melanoma patients, and characterize their interactions with their tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs).
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