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Developing a cancer vaccine for two-dimensional T cell activation using the invariant chain

Grenov, Amalie (2016) MOBT01 20161
Degree Projects in Molecular Biology
Popular Abstract
Improvement of cancer vaccines with the invariant chain molecule

Cancer is a disease well known to most people and has been treated for many years through irradiation and different drugs. However, many developing cancers are never discovered because they are killed by the immune system before they are established. Similar to elimination of intruding bacteria, the immune system should under normal circumstances be able to recognise and kill tumours. Successful tumour elimination depends on an efficient immune response targeted against the cancer cells. Two types of immune cells orchestrate the immune response: Killer T cells and helper T cells. Killer T cells are also called CD8+ T cells and helper T cells are also called CD4+ T cells.... (More)
Improvement of cancer vaccines with the invariant chain molecule

Cancer is a disease well known to most people and has been treated for many years through irradiation and different drugs. However, many developing cancers are never discovered because they are killed by the immune system before they are established. Similar to elimination of intruding bacteria, the immune system should under normal circumstances be able to recognise and kill tumours. Successful tumour elimination depends on an efficient immune response targeted against the cancer cells. Two types of immune cells orchestrate the immune response: Killer T cells and helper T cells. Killer T cells are also called CD8+ T cells and helper T cells are also called CD4+ T cells. Both types of T cells are important for the creation of an immune response that is strong enough to kill the tumour.
Despite the tumour killing mechanisms employed by the immune system, tumours are sometimes able to avoid killing. Many cancer cells have several ways of evading and downregulating the immune response, leading to establishment of the tumour. Cancer vaccines boost the patient’s own immune response against the tumour by helping T cells recognise and kill cancer cells.
However, testing of cancer vaccines in patients has only had limited success. Many cancer vaccines only stimulate the killer T cells of the immune response and don’t stimulate the helper T cells. This may generate inadequate immune responses and be part of the reason for the limited success of patient testing.
Using a molecule called the invariant chain we have made a cancer vaccine that is able to stimulate both killer T cells and helper T cells. By stimulating both T cells of the immune response, this vaccine is likely to improve killing of tumour cells.
Every cell in the body constantly tells the immune system what is inside it by presenting different proteins on its surface. T cells of the immune system patrol the body and recognise if a cell is presenting an abnormal protein. As a result, an immune response is created against all cells that present that same protein and the cells are killed. This is a central mechanism in tumour cell recognition and killing.
Cancer vaccines stimulate immune responses by inducing presentation of tumour proteins.
The invariant chain is involved in presentation of surface proteins. It is mainly involved in expression of proteins that are presented to helper T cells, but also contribute to presentation of protein to killer T cells. In line with this, we have showed that the invariant chain can be used to present tumour proteins to both T cell groups. By using the invariant chain in a cancer vaccine, both killer T cells and helper T cells recognise tumour protein and can cooperate to kill tumour cells that are presenting the protein.

Handledare: Klas Flärdh
Examensarbete 60hp i Molekylärbiologi* 2016
Biologiska institutionen, Lunds universitet
Institution for biovitenskap, Universitet i Oslo
*Examensarbetsämne: se kursplan (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Grenov, Amalie
supervisor
organization
course
MOBT01 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
8891700
date added to LUP
2016-09-14 11:34:49
date last changed
2016-09-14 11:34:49
@misc{8891700,
  author       = {Grenov, Amalie},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Developing a cancer vaccine for two-dimensional T cell activation using the invariant chain},
  year         = {2016},
}