Neoantigen: A New Hope for Effective Cancer Immunotherapy

Nemat Khansari*

Neoantigen: A New Hope for Effective Cancer Immunotherapy

In recent years, immunotherapy with the aim of augmenting the
body’s immune system to recognize and destroy tumor cells
has been widely investigated as a novel cancer therapy modality.
Immune responses can be naturally generated against cancer cells.

On the other hand, cancer cells can inhibit anticancer immune
responses. In the past decades, vaccination with tumor specific/
associated antigens and immunogenic vectors has been successfully used
to increase antitumor immune responses.

However, the choice of target antigen is imperative
in designing a cancer vaccine.

Mutations that prevent the repair of deoxyribonucleic
acid (DNA) errors that arise as cell divide, this defect called
mismatch repair deficiency which has the potential to create neoantigens.

However, identification of TSAs has been difficult, and even impossible, in
most cancers due to technical limitations. Recently, technological
advances in high-throughput DNA sequencing provided evidences
indicating that tumor cells are vastly different from normal cells
at the genetic level.

These changes lead to expression of unique
antigens (neoantigens) in tumor cells.

Development of next-generation DNA sequencing
technologies facilitates the detection of mutations in
genes encoding cell surface neoantigens.

NGS and neoantigen prediction algorithms are beneficial to identify which neoantigens
will likely induce an immune response in cancer patients and help to
prepare novel vaccines producing T cell responses to neoantigens.

Neoantigen: A New Hope for Effective Cancer Immunotherapy

Vaccin Res Open J. 2019; 4(1): 19-20. doi: 10.17140/VROJ-4-113