Proteomics for monitoring immune responses to cancer vaccines.
Standardized biomarkers for the detection of clinically significant immunological responses would be extremely valuable in immunotherapy trials. Most available assays measure either the frequency or function of antigen-specific T-cells, or the titers of antibodies or immune complexes. These assays have generally exhibited either inadequate sensitivity or too high a signal-to-noise ratio to reliably detect the low-frequency T-cell responses induced by cancer vaccines. In addition, such assays reflect only one aspect of the immune response rather than the complete picture. Proteomics, the study of proteins within a cell or biological sample, may offer a novel approach to immunological monitoring that complements existing immunological assays. By studying the protein content of T-cells responding to a vaccine or in the serum of vaccinated individuals, it may be possible to develop a metric for quantitating the magnitude of immunological responses. Proteomics could also provide a tool for establishing the quality of the immune response and for obtaining valuable information regarding the underlying regulatory mechanisms and pathways. Advances in miniaturization and automation may also permit characterization of the immune response more rapidly and from smaller amounts of biological material than is possible with existing assay systems.
Mosca, PJ; Lyerly, HK; Ching, CD; Hobeika, AC; Clay, TM; Morse, MA
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