Weekly Digests



How do we improve DC vaccines? Let us count the ways.

March 31, 2021

In previous arms of a sequential, multi-arm, ovarian cancer clinical trial, Tanyi and Chiang et al. showed that the use of a dendritic cell vaccine consisting of DCs pulsed with oxidized autologous whole tumor lysate (OCDC) can elicit T cell responses to tumor-associated antigens and neoantigens. They also showed that the addition of Bevacizumab...

TIL going viral: detection of TCR cross-specificity for viral and tumor antigens

March 24, 2021

Virus-specific tumor-infiltrating T cells have previously been considered bystander cells not contributing to the antitumor response in the same way that T cells specific to tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) might. To begin to unpack the vast amount of TCR sequence data available from tumor and normal tissue samples, Chiou and Tseng et al. used...

T cells and myeloid cells may be in a “dysfunctional” friendship

March 17, 2021

The role of the tumor immune microenvironment (TME) in tumor progression is increasingly appreciated, but for certain cancers, our understanding remains incomplete. Recently, single-cell analysis techniques have enabled comprehensive analysis and supported our knowledge of tumor development and treatment response. Now published in Cancer Cell, Braun and Street et al. used single-cell RNA...

Defining CD4+ T cells with a license to kill

March 10, 2021

The helper function of CD4+ T cells in antitumor immune responses has been characterized, but much less is known about the role of cytotoxic CD4+ Th cells (Th-CTX) in tumors. Cachot, Bilous, and Liu et al. investigated the presence, phenotype, and cytolytic function of tumor-specific Th-CTX using single-cell transcriptomics, peptide–MHC-II multimers, and a...

Epitope spreading is spreading success in immunotherapy

March 3, 2021

Successful immune checkpoint blockade in patients with melanoma is often associated with a high mutational burden, a high level of predicted neoantigens, and an interesting side effect – vitiligo. In a study recently published in Science Translational Medicine, Lo et al. investigated whether vitiligo, an autoimmune reaction against melanocytes, contributes to the efficacy...

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