Neo-epitope specific CD4+ T cells – Anti-tumoral mechanisms and their modulation
Understanding the role and potential of CD4 T helper cells in cancer immunotherapy relies on establishing a model system. We previously developed (i) an effective neo-TCR discovery platform to identify both CD4 and CD8 neo-TCR sequences and (ii) a successful adoptive T cell transfer protocol in combination with antigen-specific RNA-lipoplex vaccination and (iii) we demonstrated that neo-CD4 T cells migrate to the tumor, albeit tumor cells lack MHC II expression. We now aim to analyze the mechanisms of in vivo tumor control by neo-CD4 T cells and discover strategies to functionally modulate cancer cell killing, utilizing e.g. RNA encoded cytokines. Thereby we hope to enhance our understanding of cancer immune surveillance and its therapeutic potential.