Ludwig scientists develop robust method to refine personalized cancer immunotherapy

Ludwig Cancer Research scientists have developed a new and more accurate method to identify the molecular signs of cancer likely to be presented to helper T cells, which stimulate and orchestrate the immune response to tumors and infectious agents. The study, led by David Gfeller and Michal Bassani-Sternberg of the Lausanne Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, is reported in the current issue of Nature Biotechnology. The new method combines two powerful new technologies. One is a mass spectrometry technology developed by Bassani-Sternberg's lab to rapidly and inexpensively obtain the amino acid sequences of thousands of peptide antigens-;or protein fragments-;bound to a molecular complex known as HLA that is expressed on the surface of cells. The other is a novel computational tool developed in Gfeller's lab that is based on machine learning, the computational approach that powers face-recognition software, among other things.

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