Funded in Collaboration With Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)
The study encompasses multiple directions. First, genome of cancer cells acquires mutations at a higher rate compared to benign cells. Some of these novel mutations affect proteins synthesized within the cell, and these modified proteins (tumor neoantigens) may interact with immune system. We identify these novel neoantigens and study their interaction with immune cells in the tumor microenvironment. The other direction is quantification of non-coding RNAs, in particular, some repeat RNAs, expressed by cancer cells. We focus on the mechanisms of expression of these RNAs, their immunogenic properties and their interaction with tumor microenvironment. Understanding these topics would open the door towards unleashing immune response against pancreatic tumors.