Shared cancer neoantigens: Making private matters public.
ABSTRACT: In this issue of JEM, Chheda et al. (https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20171046) report that a conserved hotspot mutation associated with an aggressive form of brain cancer generates an immunogenic T cell epitope restricted by a common HLA subtype, thereby creating a "public" neoantigen.
Project description:The work by Etzerodt et al. in this issue of JEM (https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20191869) identifies a distinct omentum-resident macrophage population of embryonic origin and demonstrates that these cells provide a niche for ovarian cancer metastasis and cancer stemness. This research opens up for many questions and therapeutic prospects.
Project description:Daniel et al. (https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20110574) have previously published in JEM a study on the preventive effect of tolerogenic vaccination with a strong agonist insulin mimetope in type 1 diabetes. Our study now challenges these results and shows that osmotic pump delivery of the modified insulin peptide R22E did not prevent hyperglycemia, accelerated disease onset, increased its incidence, and worsened insulitis.
Project description:Tumor neoantigen is the truly foreign protein and entirely absent from normal human organs/tissues. It could be specifically recognized by neoantigen-specific T cell receptors (TCRs) in the context of major histocompatibility complexes (MHCs) molecules. Emerging evidence has suggested that neoantigens play a critical role in tumor-specific T cell-mediated antitumor immune response and successful cancer immunotherapies. From a theoretical perspective, neoantigen is an ideal immunotherapy target because they are distinguished from germline and could be recognized as non-self by the host immune system. Neoantigen-based therapeutic personalized vaccines and adoptive T cell transfer have shown promising preliminary results. Furthermore, recent studies suggested the significant role of neoantigen in immune escape, immunoediting, and sensitivity to immune checkpoint inhibitors. In this review, we systematically summarize the recent advances of understanding and identification of tumor-specific neoantigens and its role on current cancer immunotherapies. We also discuss the ongoing development of strategies based on neoantigens and its future clinical applications.
Project description:T cell cancer neoantigens are created from peptides derived from cancer-specific aberrant proteins, such as mutated and fusion proteins, presented in complex with human leukocyte antigens on the cancer cell surface. Because expression of the aberrant target protein is exclusive to malignant cells, immunotherapy directed against neoantigens should avoid "on-target, off-tumor" toxicity. The efficacy of neoantigen vaccines in melanoma and glioblastoma and of adoptive transfer of neoantigen-specific T cells in epithelial tumors indicates that neoantigens are valid therapeutic targets. Improvements in sequencing technology and innovations in antigen discovery approaches have facilitated the identification of neoantigens. In comparison to many solid tumors, hematologic malignancies have few mutations and thus fewer potential neoantigens. Despite this, neoantigens have been identified in a wide variety of hematologic malignancies. These include mutated nucleophosmin1 and PML-RARA in acute myeloid leukemia, ETV6-RUNX1 fusions and other mutated proteins in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, BCR-ABL1 fusions in chronic myeloid leukemia, driver mutations in myeloproliferative neoplasms, immunoglobulins in lymphomas, and proteins derived from patient-specific mutations in chronic lymphoid leukemias. We will review advances in the field of neoantigen discovery, describe the spectrum of identified neoantigens in hematologic malignancies, and discuss the potential of these neoantigens for clinical translation.
Project description:As tumors grow, they acquire mutations, some of which create neoantigens that influence the response of patients to immune checkpoint inhibitors. We explored the impact of neoantigen intratumor heterogeneity (ITH) on antitumor immunity. Through integrated analysis of ITH and neoantigen burden, we demonstrate a relationship between clonal neoantigen burden and overall survival in primary lung adenocarcinomas. CD8(+)tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes reactive to clonal neoantigens were identified in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer and expressed high levels of PD-1. Sensitivity to PD-1 and CTLA-4 blockade in patients with advanced NSCLC and melanoma was enhanced in tumors enriched for clonal neoantigens. T cells recognizing clonal neoantigens were detectable in patients with durable clinical benefit. Cytotoxic chemotherapy-induced subclonal neoantigens, contributing to an increased mutational load, were enriched in certain poor responders. These data suggest that neoantigen heterogeneity may influence immune surveillance and support therapeutic developments targeting clonal neoantigens.
Project description:Antibody neutralization of a virus in vitro is often associated with protection against viral exposure in vivo, but the mechanisms operational in vivo are often unclear. By investigating a large number of antibodies, Earnest et al. (https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20190736) show the importance of antibody effector function in neutralizing antibody protection against an emerging alphavirus in a mouse model.
Project description:The impact of intratumoral heterogeneity (ITH) and the resultant neoantigen landscape on T cell immunity are poorly understood. ITH is a widely recognized feature of solid tumors and poses distinct challenges related to the development of effective therapeutic strategies, including cancer neoantigen vaccines. Here, we performed deep targeted DNA sequencing of multiple metastases from melanoma patients and observed ubiquitous sharing of clonal and subclonal single nucleotide variants (SNVs) encoding putative HLA class I-restricted neoantigen epitopes. However, spontaneous antitumor CD8+ T cell immunity in peripheral blood and tumors was restricted to a few clonal neoantigens featuring an oligo-/monoclonal T cell-receptor (TCR) repertoire. Moreover, in various tumors of the 4 patients examined, no neoantigen-specific TCR clonotypes were identified despite clonal neoantigen expression. Mature dendritic cell (mDC) vaccination with tumor-encoded amino acid-substituted (AAS) peptides revealed diverse neoantigen-specific CD8+ T responses, each composed of multiple TCR clonotypes. Isolation of T cell clones by limiting dilution from tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) permitted functional validation regarding neoantigen specificity. Gene transfer of TCR?? heterodimers specific for clonal neoantigens confirmed correct TCR clonotype assignments based on high-throughput TCRBV CDR3 sequencing. Our findings implicate immunological ignorance of clonal neoantigens as the basis for ineffective T cell immunity to melanoma and support the concept that therapeutic vaccination, as an adjunct to checkpoint inhibitor treatment, is required to increase the breadth and diversity of neoantigen-specific CD8+ T cells.
Project description:Tumor-resident lymphocytes can mount a response against neoantigens expressed in microsatellite-stable gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, and adoptive transfer of neoantigen-specific lymphocytes has demonstrated antitumor activity in selected patients. However, whether peripheral blood could be used as an alternative minimally invasive source to identify lymphocytes targeting neoantigens in patients with GI cancer with relatively low mutation burden is unclear. We used a personalized high-throughput screening strategy to investigate whether PD-1 expression in peripheral blood could be used to identify CD8+ or CD4+ lymphocytes recognizing neoantigens identified by whole-exome sequencing in 7 patients with GI cancer. We found that neoantigen-specific lymphocytes were preferentially enriched in the CD8+PD-1+/hi or CD4+PD-1+/hi subsets, but not in the corresponding bulk or PD-1- fractions. In 6 of 7 individuals analyzed we identified circulating CD8+ and CD4+ lymphocytes targeting 6 and 4 neoantigens, respectively. Moreover, neoantigen-reactive T cells and a T cell receptor (TCR) isolated from the CD8+PD-1+ subsets recognized autologous tumor, albeit at reduced levels, in 2 patients with available cell lines. These data demonstrate the existence of circulating T cells targeting neoantigens in GI cancer patients and provide an approach to generate enriched populations of personalized neoantigen-specific lymphocytes and isolate TCRs that could be exploited therapeutically to treat cancer.
Project description:Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) is a kind of immunotherapy in which T cells are genetically modified to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) or T cell receptor (TCR), and ACT has made a great difference in treating multiple types of tumors. ACT is not perfect, and it can be followed by severe side effects, which hampers the application of ACT in clinical trials. One of the most promising methods to minimize side effects is to endow adoptive T cells with the ability to target neoantigens, which are specific to tumor cells. With the development of antigen screening technologies, more methods can be applied to discover neoantigens in cancer cells, such as whole-exome sequencing combined with mass spectrometry, neoantigen screening through an inventory-shared neoantigen peptide library, and neoantigen discovery via trogocytosis. In this review, we focus on the side effects of existing antigens and their solutions, illustrate the strategies of finding neoantigens in CAR-T and TCR-T therapies through methods reported by other researchers, and summarize the clinical behavior of these neoantigens.