Multiple lines of evidence have convincingly demonstrated tumor neoantigens as an important class of immunogenic tumor antigens, and have motivated the development of personalized cancer neoantigen targeting approaches. Neoantigens arise from amino acid changes encoded by somatic mutations in the tumor cell and have the potential to bind to and be presented by personal HLA molecules. Because the immune response has the capacity of addressing multiple tumor neoantigens simultaneously, immune-based therapy has a potential for directly address tumor heterogeneity. As a field, we have now successfully moved beyond the first wave proof-of-concept studies that have demonstrated the safety, feasibility and high immunogenicity of these personalized neoantigen-targeting vaccines. An imperative now is to address the challenges of discovering and optimizing the selection of antigens to target, the delivery approach, and extending this promising approach to a broader array of cancer settings.

Citation Format: Catherine J. Wu. Building improved personal cancer vaccines [abstract]. In: Abstracts: AACR Virtual Special Conference: Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy; 2020 Oct 19-20. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2021;9(2 Suppl):Abstract nr IA10.