Aichi Cancer Center and NEC Corp have announced the launch of fundamental research aiming to realize the promise of advanced personalized cancer immunotherapy by improving the performance of NEC’s neoantigen prediction system and developing predictive biomarkers for patient stratification through the fusion of AI and experimental immunology.
This research aims to identify suitable neoantigen for vaccine use by using the neoantigen prediction system which NEC has been working on and the screening techniques using T cells for neoantigen from Aichi Cancer Center. In addition, this research aims to develop biomarkers for patient stratification using AI based on analytical data on a tumor immune microenvironment and clinical data.
The partners will realize the promise of advanced personalized cancer immunotherapy which boosts the immune system especially in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs).
Although the ICIs showed a certain degree of therapeutic success in cancer therapeutics, the therapeutic effect is limited to few cases. Previous studies have suggested that there is a significant correlation between tumor neoantigen load and the clinical efficacy of ICIs. Accordingly, the immunotherapy could improve the therapeutic efficacy if the brakes on the immune system are disabled, and at the same time, the immune responses to neoantigens are accelerated. The important things for realizing effective cancer immunotherapies are 1.) the selection of neoantigens that harness the immune system and 2.) the patient stratification in treatment planning for ICI therapy, cancer vaccine therapy, and their combination therapy.
The Division of Translational Oncoimmunology at the Aichi Cancer Center has been conducting translational research using patient samples in collaboration with the departments of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology at the Aichi Cancer Center Hospital. Specifically, this division specializes in experimental immunology and focuses on analyzing the immune microenvironment and the tumor-specific immune responses of each patient.
NEC is actively working on applied research in the drug development field using AI and has developed a unique AI-based neoantigen prediction system. NEC was accepted into the Tumor neoantigEn SeLection Alliance (TESLA) consortium given the uniqueness of this system and became the first Japanese company to join TESLA, founded and managed by the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the Cancer Research Institute
Source: NEC© Japan Today