Article Text

Download PDFPDF

New emerging targets in cancer immunotherapy: the role of neoantigens
  1. Leticia De Mattos-Arruda1,2,
  2. Juan Blanco-Heredia1,2,
  3. Carmen Aguilar-Gurrieri1,
  4. Jorge Carrillo1,2,
  5. Julià Blanco1,2,3
  1. 1IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital, Badalona, Spain
  2. 2Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP), Badalona, Spain
  3. 3Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVic-UCC), Vic, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Leticia De Mattos-Arruda; ldemattos{at}


The success of cancer therapies with immune checkpoint inhibitors is transforming the treatment of patients with cancer and fostering cancer research. Therapies that target immune checkpoint inhibitors have shown unprecedented rates of durable long-lasting responses in patients with various cancer types, but only in a fraction of patients. Thus, novel approaches are needed to make immunotherapy more precise and also less toxic. The advances of next-generation sequencing technologies have allowed fast detection of somatic mutations in genes present in the exome of an individual tumour. Targeting neoantigens, the mutated peptides expressed only by tumour cells, may enable antitumour T-cell responses and tumour destruction without causing harm to healthy tissues. Currently, neoantigens can be identified in tumour clinical samples by using genomic-based computational tools. The two main treatment modalities targeting neoantigens that have been investigated in clinical trials are personalised vaccines and tumour infiltrating lymphocytes-based adoptive T-cell therapy. In this mini review, we discuss the promises and challenges for using neoantigens as emergent targets to personalise and guide cancer immunotherapy in a broader set of cancers.

  • neoantigens
  • immunotherapy
  • vaccines
  • adoptive T cell
  • checkpoint inhibitors
  • next generation sequencing

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, any changes made are indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Twitter @demattosarruda

  • Contributors All authors contributed to the review. All authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests LDM-A has received honoraria for participation in a speaker’s bureau/ consultancy from Roche. JBH is CEO and cofounder and JC is CSO and cofounder of AlbaJuna Therapeutics.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.