BioScience Trends. 2020;14(5):349-353. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2020.03267)

Advances in personalized neoantigen vaccines for cancer immunotherapy

Sun CB, Xu S


Immunotherapy, which targets T cell inhibitory receptors (immune checkpoints), is now being widely used to treat a variety of types of cancer combined with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy. However, immune checkpoint inhibitors are highly dependent on the ability to present diverse tumor antigens to T cells. Neoantigens, arising from somatic mutations and specifically targeting tumor cells, have the potential to stimulate a highly specific immune anti-tumor response. Technological advances such as genomic sequencing and bioinformatics algorithms for epitope prediction have directly facilitated the development of neoantigen vaccines for individual cancers. Currently, several preclinical studies and early clinical trials using neoantigen in combination with checkpoint inhibitors have resulted in robust T cell responses and antitumor action. In the future, efforts will be made to optimize effective personalized neoantigen vaccines targeting individual tumors and to elucidate the immune mechanisms underlying tumor evolution.

KEYWORDS: personalized neoantigen, immune response, cancer vaccine, immunotherapy

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