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New test to predict the effectiveness of cancer vaccines

Cancer vaccines are designed to turn the body’s own immune system specifically against . Particularly promising are vaccines that are directed against so-called neoantigens: These are proteins that have undergone a genetic mutation in and, therefore, differ from their counterparts in healthy cells. The tiny alteration – sometimes only a single protein building block has been changed – gives the protein on the novel immunological characteristics that can be recognized as “foreign” by the immune system’s T cells. Therapeutic vaccines using a short protein fragment, or peptide, specifically containing the mutated site can then direct specifically to the tumor.

A cancer cell displaying tumor antigens at its surface
A cancer cell displaying tumor antigens at its surface. The red dots indicate where MCH molecules and co-locate.
Credit: M. Platten/DKFZ


*PLA = Proximity Ligation Assay

Lukas Bunse, , Felix Sahm, Stefan Pusch, Iris Oezen, Katharina Rauschenbach, Marina Gonzalez, Gergely Solecki, Matthias Osswald, , Benedikt Wiestler, Frank Winkler, Christel Herold-Mende, Andreas von Deimling, Wolfgang Wick and Michael Platten: Proximity ligation assay evaluates IDH1R132H presentation in gliomas. The Journal of Clinical Investigation 2015,DOI: 10.1172/JCI77780

German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ)