Microproteins Found in Tumors Could Lead to Cancer Vaccines

A study published in Science Advances identifies a set of microproteins that are exclusively produced in liver tumors. This makes them a clear target for immune system cells and a potential target for cancer vaccine development. A study led by the Hospital del Mar Research Institute, with Cima University of Navarra, and Pompeu Fabra University, has identified a group of small molecules exclusive to liver tumors that could be key to developing cancer vaccines. These are microproteins, very small proteins expressed only by tumor cells. This can result in the activation of immune cells against the tumor. The study was published July 10, 2024 in Science Advances. The open-access article is titledMicroproteins Encoded by Noncanonical ORFs Are a Major Source of Tumor-Specific Antigens in a Liver Cancer Patient Meta-Cohort.”

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