An increasing number of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) is caused by human papillomavirus subtype 16 (HPV16). In the present study, the researchers used an in silico approach to predict immunogenic HPV16 T-cell epitopes as potential tools to activate immune cells against HPV+ cancer cells. The researchers then used a combination of analysis using transcriptomics of cancer cells and pulsing of immune cells to demonstrate that T cell dysfunction in patients could be reversed using targeted activation and expansion of T cells using HPV epitopes in combination with checkpoint blockade drugs. These results have implications for the development of immunotherapies for HNSCC caused by HPV.
Human papilloma virus specific immunogenicity and dysfunction of CD8+ T cells in head and neck cancer
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