Low Mutation Burden in Ovarian Cancer May Limit the Utility of Neoantigen-Targeted Vaccines Ovarian Cancer and Us OVARIAN CANCER and US Ovarian Cancer and Us

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Low Mutation Burden in Ovarian Cancer May Limit the Utility of Neoantigen-Targeted Vaccines

Open access
Published: May 18, 2016 


Due to advances in sequencing technology, somatically mutated cancer antigens, or neoantigens, are now readily identifiable and have become compelling targets for immunotherapy. In particular, neoantigen-targeted vaccines have shown promise in several pre-clinical and clinical studies. However, to date, neoantigen-targeted vaccine studies have involved tumors with exceptionally high mutation burdens. It remains unclear whether neoantigen-targeted vaccines will be broadly applicable to cancers with intermediate to low mutation burdens, such as ovarian cancer. To address this, we assessed whether a derivative of the murine ovarian tumor model ID8 could be targeted with neoantigen vaccines. We performed whole exome and transcriptome sequencing on ID8-G7 cells. We identified 92 somatic mutations, 39 of which were transcribed, missense mutations. For the 17 top predicted MHC class I binding mutations, we immunized mice subcutaneously with synthetic long peptide vaccines encoding the relevant mutation. Seven of 17 vaccines induced robust mutation-specific CD4 and/or CD8 T cell responses. However, none of the vaccines prolonged survival of tumor-bearing mice in either the prophylactic or therapeutic setting. Moreover, none of the neoantigen-specific T cell lines recognized ID8-G7 tumor cells in vitro, indicating that the corresponding mutations did not give rise to bonafide MHC-presented epitopes. Additionally, bioinformatic analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas data revealed that only 12% (26/220) of HGSC cases had a ≥90% likelihood of harboring at least one authentic, naturally processed and presented neoantigen versus 51% (80/158) of lung cancers. Our findings highlight the limitations of applying neoantigen-targeted vaccines to tumor types with intermediate/low mutation burdens.


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