Publication — IRIC
Identification of antigenic epitopes recognized by tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in high grade serous ovarian cancer by multi-omics profiling of the auto-antigen repertoire.
Immunotherapeutic strategies aimed at enhancing tumor cell killing by tumor-specific T cells hold great potential for reducing tumor burden and prolonging survival of cancer patients. Although many potential tumor antigens have been described, identifying relevant targets when designing anti-cancer vaccines or targeted cell therapies remains a challenge. To identify novel, potentially immunogenic candidate tumor antigens, we performed integrated tumor transcriptomic, seromic, and proteomic analyses of high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) patient tumor samples. We identified tumor neo-antigens and over-expressed antigens using whole exome and RNA sequencing and examined these in relation to patient-matched auto-antibody repertoires. Focusing on MHC class I epitopes recognized by CD8+ T cells, HLA-binding epitopes were identified or predicted from the highly expressed, mutated, or auto-antibody target antigen, or MHC-associated peptides (MAPs). Recognition of candidate antigenic peptides was assessed within the tumor-infiltrating T lymphocyte (TIL) population expanded from each patient. Known tumor-associated antigens (TAA) and cancer/testis antigens (CTA) were commonly found in the auto-antibody and MAP repertoires and CD8+ TILs recognizing epitopes from these antigens were detected, although neither expression level nor the presence of auto-antibodies correlated with TIL recognition. Auto-antibodies against tumor-mutated antigens were found in most patients, however, no TIL recognition of the highest predicted affinity neo-epitopes was detected. Using high expression level, auto-antibody recognition, and epitope prediction algorithms, we identified epitopes in 5 novel antigens (MOB1A, SOCS3, TUBB, PRKAR1A, CCDC6) recognized by HGSC patient TILs. Furthermore, selection of epitopes from the MAP repertoire identified 5 additional targets commonly recognized by multiple patient TILs. We find that the repertoire of TIL specificities includes recognition of highly expressed and immunogenic self-antigens that are processed and presented by tumors. These results indicate an ongoing autoimmune response against a range of self-antigens targeted by HGSC TILs.