Doctoral Dissertations: Natalie Vandeven

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Speaker

Natalie Vandeven
Medical Scientist Training Program
Pathology
University of Washington

Faculty Sponsor

Paul Nghiem


Date & Time

September 18, 2017 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Location

Orin Smith Auditoriu (UW - SLU)

Calendar

Doctoral Dissertations

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Add to Calendar 09/18/2017 03:00 PM 09/18/2017 04:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Doctoral Dissertations: Natalie Vandeven Doctoral Dissertations: Natalie Vandeven

Natalie Vandeven
Medical Scientist Training Program
Pathology
University of Washington
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a deadly skin cancer caused by the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) in the majority of cases. Expression of MCPyV T-antigen oncoproteins is required for tumor survival and growth, providing ideal targets for the immune system. CD4 T cells are critical in orchestrating effect anticancer immunity, however, the study of tumor-specific CD4s has been limited by the ability to isolate and characterize these cells. Using several strategies, we have identified 12 CD4 T cell MCPyV-epitopes and have generated HLA class-II tetramers, permitting for the first time, identification and isolation of MCPyV-specific CD4 T cells. One of these epitopes is highly conserved, population-prevalent and persistently expressed within MCC tumors, indicating that this epitope could be ideal for inclusion in a therapeutic cancer vaccine. Methods used to identify and characterize MCPyV-specific CD4 T cells could be applied more broadly to study CD4 T cell responses against other tumor-specific antigens such as other oncogenic viruses and neoantigens.
Orin Smith Auditoriu (UW - SLU) false MM/DD/YYYY

Description

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a deadly skin cancer caused by the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) in the majority of cases. Expression of MCPyV T-antigen oncoproteins is required for tumor survival and growth, providing ideal targets for the immune system. CD4 T cells are critical in orchestrating effect anticancer immunity, however, the study of tumor-specific CD4s has been limited by the ability to isolate and characterize these cells.

Using several strategies, we have identified 12 CD4 T cell MCPyV-epitopes and have generated HLA class-II tetramers, permitting for the first time, identification and isolation of MCPyV-specific CD4 T cells. One of these epitopes is highly conserved, population-prevalent and persistently expressed within MCC tumors, indicating that this epitope could be ideal for inclusion in a therapeutic cancer vaccine. Methods used to identify and characterize MCPyV-specific CD4 T cells could be applied more broadly to study CD4 T cell responses against other tumor-specific antigens such as other oncogenic viruses and neoantigens.