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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01679

Neoantigens generated by individual mutations and their role in cancer immunity and immunotherapy

  • 1Biocenter, Division for Bioinformatics, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria

Recent preclinical and clinical studies have proved the long-standing hypothesis that tumors elicit adaptive immune responses and that the antigens driving effective T cell response are neoantigens, i.e. peptides that are generated from somatically mutated genes. Hence, the characterization of neoantigens and the identification of the immunogenic ones are of utmost importance for improving cancer immunotherapy and broadening its efficacy to a larger fraction of patients. In this review, we first introduce the methods used for the quantification of neoantigens using next-generation sequencing (NGS) data and then summarize results obtained using these tools to characterize the neoantigen landscape in solid cancers. We then discuss the importance of neoantigens for cancer immunotherapy using checkpoint blockers, vaccination, and adoptive T cell transfer. Finally, we give an overview over emerging aspects in cancer immunity including tumor heterogeneity and immunoediting, and give an outlook on future prospects.

Keywords: Next-generation sequencing, Immunoediting, tumor heterogeneity, somatic mutations, Cancer Vaccines

Received: 15 Sep 2017; Accepted: 15 Nov 2017.

Edited by:

Mustafa Diken, Immunotherapy Development Center (IDC) TRON 
 Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany

Reviewed by:

Sébastien Wälchli, Oslo University Hospital, Norway
Mathias Vormehr, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany  

Copyright: © 2017 Efremova, Finotello, Rieder and Trajanoski. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Zlatko Trajanoski, TRAJANOSKI., Innsbruck Medical University, Biocenter, Division for Bioinformatics, Innrain 80, Innsbruck, 6020, Austria, zlatko.trajanoski@i-med.ac.at