TIGP (BIO)—Designing Personalized Cancer Vaccines: A Bioinformatics Approach to Neoantigen Analysis
- 2023-11-23 (Thu.), 14:00 PM
- Dr. Mi-Hua Tao （陶秘華博士）
Cancer metastasis remains the primary cause of mortality in cancer patients. The ineffectiveness of conventional therapies, such as chemotherapy and radiation, in fully addressing the challenge of metastasis, emphasizes the need for innovative treatment strategies. Central to these emerging strategies is the role of cytotoxic T cells, which are instrumental in controlling tumor growth and metastasis through immune-mediated mechanisms. The discovery of tumor antigens, particularly tumor neoantigens, has opened new avenues for targeted cancer therapies. Tumor neoantigens, unique to each individual's tumor, arise from somatic mutations and are absent in normal tissues. This distinction makes them ideal targets for immunotherapies, as they are recognized as foreign by the immune system, enhancing the probability of eliciting immune responses. Among the platforms for targeting tumor neoantigens, mRNA vaccines stand out for their precision, adaptability, and efficacy in inducing robust neoantigen-specific T cell responses. mRNA vaccines leverage the body's own cells to produce antigenic proteins, which are then presented to the immune system, stimulating a targeted immune response against the tumor cells. This approach has been shown to enhance the specificity and effectiveness of T cell responses against tumors. The promise of mRNA-based neoantigen vaccines is further underscored by the results of recent clinical trials. These trials have demonstrated encouraging outcomes in terms of safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity, with some showing marked clinical responses in patients with advanced, previously untreatable cancers. Notably, these vaccines' ability to induce potent and specific cytotoxic T cell responses against neoantigens offers significant potential in combating cancer metastasis. Current research is focused on optimizing the selection of neoantigens, enhancing the delivery and stability of mRNA vaccines, and understanding the mechanisms underlying the variation in patient responses. The integration of advanced computational methods for neoantigen prediction and the development of personalized vaccine approaches are also areas of active exploration. In conclusion, the use of mRNA vaccines targeting tumor neoantigens represents a promising frontier in the fight against cancer, particularly in addressing the formidable challenge of metastasis. Future studies and clinical trials are anticipated to further elucidate their potential, paving the way for more effective and personalized cancer treatments.