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Emerging potential of immunopeptidomics by mass spectrometry in cancer immunotherapy.

Cancer Science 2024 Februrary 22
With significant advances in analytical technologies, research in the field of cancer immunotherapy, such as adoptive T cell therapy, cancer vaccine, and immune checkpoint blockade (ICB), is currently gaining tremendous momentum. Since the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy is recognized only by a minority of patients, more potent tumor-specific antigens (TSAs, also known as neoantigens) and predictive markers for treatment response are of great interest. In cancer immunity, immunopeptides, presented by human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I, play a role as initiating mediators of immunogenicity. The latest advancement in the interdisciplinary multiomics approach has rapidly enlightened us about the identity of the "dark matter" of cancer and the associated immunopeptides. In this field, mass spectrometry (MS) is a viable option to select because of the naturally processed and actually presented TSA candidates in order to grasp the whole picture of the immunopeptidome. In the past few years the search space has been enlarged by the multiomics approach, the sensitivity of mass spectrometers has been improved, and deep/machine-learning-supported peptide search algorithms have taken immunopeptidomics to the next level. In this review, along with the introduction of key technical advancements in immunopeptidomics, the potential and further directions of immunopeptidomics will be reviewed from the perspective of cancer immunotherapy.

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