Every cancer patient's tumor carries a unique set of mutations that can be recognized by their own T cells. While such 'neoantigens' are thought to be rare, Dr. Schoenberger is using a novel combination of genomic sequencing, bioinformatic analysis, and functional testing to show that these can be detected at much higher frequencies than previously recognized. By applying his techniques in head and neck cancer patients undergoing anti-PD-1 checkpoint immunotherapy, he can determine how the magnitude and range of targeted antigens changes as a consequence of therapy. Hopefully, the insights will enable the development of improved immunotherapy approaches to overcome treatment resistance.
The development of new and more effective precision immunotherapies is unquestionably critical to helping patients fight more effectively against their cancer, and I honestly cannot imagine a better goal for my scientific energies. Without the support of the CRI, we simply wouldn't have been able to develop our cutting edge translational program.
Projects and Grants
Exome-guided neoantigen discovery and validation in HNSCC
La Jolla Institute for Immunology | Leukemia | 2015
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