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2021-11-19| Special

New Research on Neoantigens and Tumor-targeting T-cells Marks Paradigm Shift in Countering Solid Tumors

by Isha Kapoor
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Cancer immunotherapies based on therapeutic vaccination or transfer of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are heralded as one of the most important advancements in the management of solid tumors. The precise identification of clinically relevant tumor antigens and their cognate TCRs is a critical foundation for such therapies.

However, the biggest challenge is the low frequency of these neoantigen-specific T-cells in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Thus, designing effective antigen screening methodology, in vitro TIL expansion, optimizing antigen validation has gained much attention recently.

In a breakthrough study, scientists from the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research led by investigator Alexandre Harari and George Coukos, Director of the Lausanne Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, developed a highly efficient method, ‘NeoScreen,’ an in vitro TIL expansion and screening methodology that aims at sensitive identification of rare tumor (neo) antigens and of cognate T cell receptors (TCRs) expressed by tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes.

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