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Hypothesis: the generation of T cells directed against neoepitopes employing immune-mediating agents other than neoepitope vaccines

July, 07, 2024 | Select Oncology Journal Articles

The development of vaccines, especially RNA-based, directed against patient-specific tumor neoepitopes is an active and productive area of cancer immunotherapy. Promising clinical results in melanoma and other solid tumor types are emerging. As with all cancer therapy modalities, neoepitope vaccine development and delivery also has some drawbacks, including the level of effort to develop a patient-specific product, accuracy of algorithms to predict neoepitopes, and with the exception of melanoma and some other tumor types, biopsies of metastatic lesions of solid tumors are often not available. We hypothesize that in some circumstances the use of rationally designed combinations of “off-the-shelf” agents may prove an additional path to enable the patient to produce his/her own “neoepitope vaccine” in situ. These combination therapies may consist of agents to activate a tumor-associated T-cell response, potentiate that response, reduce or eliminate immunosuppressive entities in the tumor microenvironment, and/or alter the phenotype of tumor cells to render them more susceptible to immune-mediated lysis. Examples are provided in both preclinical and clinical studies in which combinations of “off-the-shelf” agents lead to the generation of T cells directed against tumor-derived neoepitopes with consequent antitumor activity.

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