Due to the mutation-rich nature of cancer cell genomes, cancer cells often produce proteins that are incomplete or flawed. Those truncated and flawed proteins, termed neoantigens, can act as a patient-specific targets for novel immunotherapies. Since every patient’s mutation load is different – every tumor’s mutation load is different – targeting these mutant proteins can mount a focused attack on the only cells in the body where the mutant protein is expressed. By directing the immune system to attack cells that express the neoantigen, off-target effects are minimized and focused destruction of tumor cells is maximized.
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