ANA BELEN BLAZQUEZ & GUSTAVO GIMENEZ
Several strategies have been developed to enhance immunity against tumors in human cancer patients. A significant contribution to the field of tumor immunology and medical oncology might be represented by a therapy that proves capable of inducing a robust anti-tumor immune response, which also minimizes the risk of non-specific immune activity. Ana is involved in a clinical research trial based on a fully Personalized Genomic Vaccine (PGV) platform, which utilizes high-throughput sequencing technologies to identify tumor-specific somatic variations, and statistical models to characterize mutation-derived tumor antigens (MTA). This PGV vaccine may increase the concentration of antigen-specific T cells directed against MTAs, and eventually may lead to the immune-mediated destruction of residual malignant cells.
John studies mutation-derived tumor antigens (MTA), and MTA-specific T lymphocytes, with the hope of better understanding the interaction between malignant cells and the host immune system. We employ multiple high-throughput techniques such as exome and transcript sequencing, as well as single-cell mass cytometry to understand the phenotype, function, trafficking as well signal transduction and transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of tumor-antigen specific T cells, including MTA-specific T cells. Ultimately, the knowledge gained in the course of our studies will facilitate the safe and effective use of the current class of cancer immune therapies, and aid in the design of more effective next generation immune therapies.