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The Cancer Epitope Trees of 23 Early Cervical Cancers in Chinese Women

By Xia Li, Hailiang Huang, Yanfang Guang, Yuhua Gong, Chen-Yi He, Xin Yi, Ming Qi, Zhi-Ying Chen

Posted 16 Mar 2016
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/043927 (published DOI: 10.1002/cam4.953)

Emerging evidences suggest the heterogeneity of cancers limits the efficacy of immunotherapy. To search for optimal therapeutic targets, we used whole-exome sequencing data from 23 early cervical tumors from Chinese women to investigate the hierarchical structure of the somatic mutations and the predicted neo-epitopes based on their strong binding with major histocompatibility complex class I molecules. We found each tumor carried 117 mutations and 61 neo-epitopes in average and displayed a unique phylogenic tree and "cancer neo-epitope tree" comprising different compositions of mutations or neo-epitopes. Conceivably, the neo-epitopes at the top of the tree shared by all cancer cells are the optimal therapeutic targets that might lead to a cure. Human papillomavirus can be used as therapeutic target in only a proportion of cases where the integrated genome exits without active infection. Therefore, the "cancer neo-epitope tree" will serve as an important source to determine of the optimal immunotherapeutic target.

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