Characterization of Two Newly Described Lymphocyte Defined Antigens in NSCLC

  • Yannelli, John (PI)

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Description

Non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a leading killer of men and women around the world and is responsible for many deaths in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. While surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy remain the key treatment options, our lab is investigating immunotherapy as a 4thmodality of treatment for residual disease. Immunotherapy is being investigated world wide as an additional therapy for cancer. It relies on the body's ability to recognize and destroy cancer using the immune system. While it was believed that the immune system from cancer patients is defective, we now know that the immune system remains intact. However, tumor specific suppression of certain aspects of the immune response can occur, particularly those against the patient's t~or. Im~un~therapy attempts to reduce that'suppression and through in vitro and in vivo means, re-target the patIent's immune system to destroy theircancei. We.currently are immunizing NSCLC patients with dendritic cells (DCs), a potent immune activating cell), with antigens derived from lung cancer cells. We have demonstrated a positive immunologic response to the antigens contained in the vaccine in our trial. In the current proposal, we seek to characterize 2 novel-antigens we have identified on NSCLC tumor cells which serve as targets for immune recognition. The genes, myo-inositol monophosphatase (IMPA) and guanine nucleotide binding protein (GNAS) were identified using a method we developed in our lab. We want to characterize these antigens and determine their overall relevancy to NSCLC. If our studies show us that they are restricted to tumor tissue and are expressed on the majority oflung cancer tumor cells, these antigens will be prime candidates for future immunization strategies- Our ultimate goal is the development of a vaccine which can be utilized not only in the setting of complementing existing conventional therapies but we hope to have a vaccine which might prevent lung cancer in susceptible populations across Kentucky.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date7/1/036/30/06

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