T-Cell Epitope Discovery for Therapeutic Cancer Vaccines

The success of recent immune checkpoint blockade trials in solid tumors has demonstrated the tremendous potential of immune-mediated treatment strategies for cancer therapy. These immune therapies activate preexisting cytotoxic CD8+ T cells (CTL) to selectively target and eradicate malignant cells. In vitro models suggest that these therapies may be more effective in combination with priming of CTL using cancer vaccines. CTL-mediated tumor targeting is achieved by its recognition of tumor antigenic epitopes presented on human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules by tumor cells. Discovering CTL-antigenic epitopes is therefore central to the design of therapeutic T-cell vaccines and immune monitoring of these complex immunotherapies. However, selecting and monitoring T-cell epitopes remains difficult due to the extensive polymorphism of HLA alleles and the presence of confounding non-immunogenic self-peptides. To overcome these challenges, this chapter presents methodologies for the design of CTL-targeted vaccines using selection of target HLA alleles, novel integrated computational strategies to predict HLA-class I CTL epitopes, and epitope validation methods using short-term ex vivo T-cell stimulation. This strategy results in the improved efficiency for selecting antigenic epitopes for CTL-mediated vaccines and for immune monitoring of tumor antigens.
Source: Springer protocols feed by Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: news