Research News

The latest in research findings utilizing cytometry across basic research and clinical applications. Research will be updated regularly to provide a resource for cytometry users to keep themselves informed of the latest advances in the field.

Sensitive Detection and Analysis of Neoantigen-Specific T Cell Populations from Tumors and Blood

Neoantigen-specific T cells are increasingly viewed as important immunotherapy effectors, but physically isolating these rare cell populations is challenging. Here, we describe a sensitive method for the enumeration and isolation of neoantigen-specific CD8+ T cells from small samples of patient tumor or blood. The method relies on magnetic nanoparticles that present neoantigen-loaded major histocompatibility complex (MHC) tetramers at high avidity by barcoded DNA linkers. The magnetic particles provide a convenient handle to isolate the desired cell populations, and the barcoded DNA enables multiplexed analysis. The method exhibits superior recovery of antigen-specific T cell populations relative to literature approaches. We applied the method to profile neoantigen-specific T cell populations in the tumor and blood of patients with metastatic melanoma over the course of anti-PD1 checkpoint inhibitor therapy. We show that the method has value for monitoring clinical responses to cancer immunotherapy and might help guide the development of personalized mutational neoantigen-specific T cell therapies and cancer vaccines.

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