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Mutational and putative neoantigen load predict clinical benefit of adoptive T cell therapy in melanoma

  • Martin Lauss
  • Marco Donia
  • Katja Harbst
  • Rikke Andersen
  • Shamik Mitra
  • Frida Rosengren
  • Maryem Salim
  • Johan Vallon-Christersson
  • Therese Törngren
  • Anders Kvist
  • Markus Ringnér
  • Inge Marie Svane
  • Göran Jönsson
Publishing year: 2017-12-01
Language: English
Publication/Series: Nature Communications
Volume: 8
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

Abstract english

Adoptive T-cell therapy (ACT) is a highly intensive immunotherapy regime that has yielded remarkable response rates and many durable responses in clinical trials in melanoma; however, 50-60% of the patients have no clinical benefit. Here, we searched for predictive biomarkers to ACT in melanoma. Whole exome-and transcriptome sequencing and neoantigen prediction were applied to pre-treatment samples from 27 patients recruited to a clinical phase I/II trial of ACT in stage IV melanoma. All patients had previously progressed on other immunotherapies. We report that clinical benefit is associated with significantly higher predicted neoantigen load. High mutation and predicted neoantigen load are significantly associated with improved progression-free and overall survival. Further, clinical benefit is associated with the expression of immune activation signatures including a high MHC-I antigen processing and presentation score. These results improve our understanding of mechanisms behind clinical benefit of ACT in melanoma.


  • Cancer and Oncology


  • Melanoma Genomics
  • Familial Breast Cancer
  • ISSN: 2041-1723
Markus Ringnér
E-mail: markus [dot] ringner [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Research engineer

Molecular Cell Biology


Sölvegatan 35, Lund