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Annu Rev Med. 2019 Jan 27;70:395-407. doi: 10.1146/annurev-med-042617-101816.

Harnessing Tumor Mutations for Truly Individualized Cancer Vaccines.

Author information

1
Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech) Corporation, 55131 Mainz, Germany; email: mathias.vormehr@biontech.de , oezlem.tuereci@biontech.de.
2
University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University, 55131 Mainz, Germany; email: sahin@uni-mainz.de.
3
TRON - Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University gGmbH, 55131 Mainz, Germany.

Abstract

T cells are key effectors of anticancer immunity. They are capable of distinguishing tumor cells from normal ones by recognizing major histocompatibility complex-bound cancer-specific peptides. Accumulating evidence suggests that peptides associated with T cell-mediated tumor rejection arise predominantly from somatically mutated proteins and are unique to every patient's tumor. Knowledge of an individual's cancer mutanome (the entirety of cancer mutations) allows harnessing this enormous tumor cell-specific repertoire of highly immunogenic antigens for individualized cancer vaccines. This review outlines the preclinical and clinical state of individualized cancer vaccine development and the challenges ahead.

KEYWORDS:

T cells; cancer; immunotherapy; individualized therapy; vaccines

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