Targeted Therapies Pave the Way to Personalized Anti-cancer Therapy
There is an urgent unmet need for developing innovative and effective cancer therapeutics for the treatment of patients with late-stage and refractory cancer. Amidst the widespread initiatives to develop more targeted anti-cancer therapies, immunotherapy emerged as a highly specific and potent option to eradicate tumor cells with minimal side effects. Harnessing the underlying potential of the immune system to fight progressive diseases, such as cancer, forms the principle behind immunotherapy. Such therapies aim to educate the immune system with the knowledge of tumor antigens, thereby, stimulating its effector to attack those cells that contain the specific target antigens.
The term neoantigens is used to refer to the subset of tumor antigens that are encoded by tumor-specific (mutated) genes, which remain unrecognized by the immune system. These antigens may be related to viral proteins (in cancers that are caused by viral infections) or altered proteins formed post tumorigenesis. The immune system is generally primed to fight infections by differentiating body’s own cells from foreign agents. It recognizes foreign protein fragments (antigens) and mounts an immune response against them. However, when normal cells become cancerous, due to genetic mutations, the transformed (cancer) cells are often able to thrive because of their ability to hide from the immune system. Apart from this, these genetic mutations can also give rise to foreign proteins / new cancer antigens, called neoantigens, which stimulate an immune response to eliminate the cancer cells.
Sequencing of Neoantigens
Several researchers have started using whole-genome sequencing to identify non-synonymous mutations in the tumor DNA. The mutated genes are made to undergo in silico analysis for prediction of high-affinity epitopes that are capable of binding to MHC molecules.
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with Multiple Neoantigen Targeted Therapies in their Pipeline
There are several companies that are developing more than three neoantigen targeted therapies, either as a monotherapy or in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors.
to know about the companies involved in the development of neoantigen targeted
are Exploiting the Untapped Potential of Neoantigens
The fact that more than 350 research / review papers have been published, in various reputed journals, in a span of five years is evident of the huge potential of neoantigens.
get an elaborate list of publications related to neoantigen targeted therapies,
please click here.
the increasing interest in personalized therapies in the research community,
neoantigen targeted therapies is set to bring about a paradigm shift in cancer
therapy. With the first product being expected to be commercialized in 2023,
this novel approach is anticipated to become the next breakthrough in the field
For further information on this emerging domain, check our report here.