Tumor-specific neo-antigens that arise as a consequence of mutations1,2 are thought to be important for the therapeutic efficacy of cancer immunotherapies3,4,5. Accumulating evidence suggests that neo-antigens may be commonly recognized by intratumoral CD8+ T cells3,4,5,6,7, but it is unclear whether neo-antigen–specific CD4+ T cells also frequently reside within human tumors. In view of the accepted role of tumor-specific CD4+ T-cell responses in tumor control8,9,10, we addressed whether neo-antigen–specific CD4+ T-cell reactivity is a common property in human melanoma.
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We are grateful to A. Pfauth, F. van Diepen and C. Bachas for flow cytometric support; W. van de Kasteele and T. de Jong for technical assistance; N. van Rooij and B. Heemskerk for handling of patient material; and R. Kluin, M. Nieuwland and R. van Kerkhoven for support with next generation sequencing. We thank G. Bendle and P. Kvistborg for critical reading of the manuscript, and members from the Schumacher and Haanen laboratories for useful discussions. This work was supported by Worldwide Cancer Research grant 14-0321 (to C.L. and T.N.M.S.), the PhD Fellowship Program of Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds–Foundation for Basic Research in Biomedicine (to C.L.), Dutch Cancer Society grants: UVA 2010-4822 (to H.S.), NKI 2012-5463 (to J.B.A.G.H., S.H.v.d.B. and T.N.M.S.) and UL 2012-5544 (to E.M.E.V.), The Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship for Clinicians (to S.B.), The Wellcome Trust Grant WT098051 (to M.R.S.), the Anticancer Fund (to E.M.E.V., M.V.) the K.G. Jebsen Foundation (to T.N.M.S.), EU FP7 SUPERSIST, and the Stand Up To Cancer–Cancer Research Institute Cancer Immunology Translational Cancer Research Grant (to T.N.M.S.). SU2C is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation administered by the American Association for Cancer Research.
The technology described in this manuscript is the subject of an EU patent application co-owned by NKI-AVL and AIMM Therapeutics B.V. Based on NKI-AVL policy on management of intellectual property, C.L., M.M.v.B., L.B. and T.N.M.S would be entitled to a portion of received royalty income. H.S. and R.S. own certificates of AIMM Therapeutics B.V. (minority stake). T.N.M.S. is a scientific advisor of AIMM Therapeutics B.V. and indirectly owns stock of AIMM Therapeutics B.V. (minority stake).
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Linnemann, C., van Buuren, M., Bies, L. et al. High-throughput epitope discovery reveals frequent recognition of neo-antigens by CD4+ T cells in human melanoma. Nat Med 21, 81–85 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nm.3773
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