University of Oulu

Benvenuto, M., Focaccetti, C., Izzi, V., Masuelli, L., Modesti, A., & Bei, R. (2021). Tumor antigens heterogeneity and immune response-targeting neoantigens in breast cancer. Seminars in Cancer Biology, 72, 65–75.

Tumor antigens heterogeneity and immune response-targeting neoantigens in breast cancer

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Author: Benvenuto, Monica1,2; Focaccetti, Chiara3; Izzi, Valerio4;
Organizations: 1Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via Montpellier 1, 00133, Rome, Italy
2Saint Camillus International University of Health and Medical Sciences, via di Sant’Alessandro 8, 00131, Rome, Italy
3Department of Human Science and Promotion of the Quality of Life, University San Raffaele Rome, Via di Val Cannuta 247, 00166, Rome, Italy
4Center for Cell-Matrix Research, Biocenter Oulu, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, Aapistie 7C, FI-90230, Oulu, Finland
5Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161 Rome, Italy
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2020-11-04


Breast cancer is both the most common type of cancer and the most frequent cause of cancer mortality in women, mainly because of its heterogeneity and limited immunogenicity. The aim of specific active cancer immunotherapy is to stimulate the host‘s immune response against cancer cells directly using a vaccine platform carrying one or more tumor antigens. In particular, the ideal tumor antigen should be able to elicit T cell and B cell responses, be specific for the tumor and be expressed at high levels on cancer cells. Neoantigens are ideal targets for immunotherapy because they are exclusive to individual patient‘s tumors, are absent in healthy tissues and are not subject to immune tolerance mechanisms. Thus, neoantigens should generate a specific reaction towards tumors since they constitute the largest fraction of targets of tumor-infiltrating T cells.

In this review, we describe the technologies used for neoantigen discovery, the heterogeneity of neoantigens in breast cancer and recent studies of breast cancer immunotherapy targeting neoantigens.

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Series: Seminars in cancer biology
ISSN: 1044-579X
ISSN-E: 1096-3650
ISSN-L: 1044-579X
Volume: 72
Pages: 65 - 75
DOI: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2019.10.023
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
3122 Cancers
Funding: This study was supported by a grant from the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (Mission Sustainability, Codice Unico di Progetto (CUP): E81I18000330005; R.B.) and by a grant from the Research Council for Health of the Academy of Finland (Grant 308867; V.I.).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 308867
Detailed Information: 308867 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license