Personalized Therapy: Tumor Antigen Discovery for Adoptive Cellular Therapy

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Adoptive cell therapy using endogenous T cells involves the ex vivo isolation and expansion of antigen-specific T cells from the peripheral blood and is uniquely suited for validating and translating antigen discovery. Endogenous T-cell therapy does not require accessible tumor as a source of infiltrating T cells and is free of regulatory and logistical constraints associated with engineering T cells. Candidate epitope peptides identified through antigen discovery may be rapidly implemented as targets in clinical trials of endogenous T-cell therapy and even incorporated as an “ad hoc” approach to personalized treatment when autologous tumor is available. Several first-in-human studies using a uniform population of antigen-specific T cells defined by phenotype and specificity have provided a means to confirm candidate antigens as potential tumor rejection antigens and to evaluate the reasons for success or failure using as a “transferrable cellular biomarker” the adoptively transferred T cells.

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