Large-scale in-silico identification of a tumor-specific antigen pool for targeted immunotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer
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Jessica Kaufmann1,2, Nicolas Wentzensen3, Titus J. Brinker4,5 and Niels Grabe1,2
1Hamamatsu Tissue Imaging and Analysis Center (TIGA), BIOQUANT, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
2Medical Oncology Department, Universitätsklinik Heidelberg, National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), Heidelberg, Germany
3National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, Clinical Genetics Branch, NCI Shady Grove, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
4National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
5Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Niels Grabe, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: immunotherapy; RNA-seq; triple negative breast cancer; target identification; TCGA
Received: August 31, 2018 Accepted: February 15, 2019 Published: April 02, 2019
Since the advent of cetuximab, clinical cancer treatment has evolved from the standard, relatively nonspecific chemo- and radiotherapy with significant cytotoxic side effects towards immunotherapeutic approaches with selective, target-mechanism-based effects. Antibody therapies as the most successful form of cancer immunotherapy led to approved treatments for specific cancer types with increased patient survival. Thus, the identification of tumor antigens with high immunogenicity is in central focus now. In this study, we applied computational methods to comprehensively discover overexpressed molecular targets with high therapeutic relevance for clinical, immunotherapeutic cancer treatment in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). By actively modeling potential negative side effects utilizing expression data of 29 different, normal human tissues, we were able to develop a highly-specific coverage of TNBC patients with RNA targets. We identified here more than 400 potential tumor-specific antigens suitable for targeted therapy, including several already identified as potential targets for TNBC and other solid tumors. A specific cocktail of MAGEB4, CT83, TLX3, ACTL8, PRDM13 achieved almost 94% patient coverage in TNBC. Overall, these results show that our approach can identify and prioritize TNBC targets suitable for targeted therapy. Therefore, our method has the potential to lead to new and more effective immunotherapeutic cancer treatment.
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