Flashcards in Tumour Immunology Deck (20):
How can breast cancer be linked to the following symptoms: severe vertigo, unintelligible speech, truncal and appendicular ataxia?
Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration
Explain how breast cancer can lead to the degeneration of the cerebellum.
The antigen that the immune response is directed against is normally expressed in neural tissue
It is only expressed in breast tissue when there is a tumour
The abnormal expression of this antigen in the breast was noticed and an immune response was mounted, which then also reacted with the normal antigens in the neural tissue --> destruction of purkinje cells in the cerebellum
Describe the cancer-immunity cycle.
Antigens are released from cancer cells and captured by APCs, which then migrate to local draining lymph nodes
If the environment is sufficiently inflammatory and there is enoughcostimulation then you will get activation of the T cell response
Once the T cells are activated they go back to the tumour – the processed antigens are then recognised by the T cells, which then kill the cancer cells
NOTE: this cycle is pretty similar to viral infections
Describe the effect of the PD-1 – PDL-1 signalling on the T cell response.
When a T cell has been exposed to an antigen several times, it starts to express PD-1 receptors
Tumour cells the upregulate expression of the PDL-1 ligand, which can bind to the PD-1 receptor and downregulate the T cell response
Blockade of the PD1-PDL1 interaction could help stimulate the T cell response
What is the main difference between tumours and viral infections with regards to the immune response?
Viral infections trigger a lot of inflammation, which causes upregulation of costimulatory molecules so an immune response can take place
Tumours do not cause very much inflammation, especially early on so they are more likely to be missed by the immune system
What are the requirements for activation of an adaptive anti-cancer immune response?
Local inflammation in the tumour
Expression and recognition of tumour antigens
What are the main problems with the immune surveillance of cancer?
It takes a tumour a while to cause inflammation
Antigenic differences between normal and tumour cells can be very subtle
Which MHC class presents endogenous peptides?
MHC Class I
Give two examples of opportunistic malignancies.
EBV positive lymphoma (post-transplant immunosuppression)
HHV8 positive Kaposi sarcoma (occurs in HIV)
Give a few examples of viral infections that can cause cancer inimmunocompetent individuals.
HTLV1 associated leukaemia/lymphoma
HepB virus- and HepC virus-associated hepatocellular carcinoma
HPV positive genital tumours
Which oncoproteins of HPV are responsible for the induction andmaintenance of cervical cancer?
What proteins do the vaccines for HPV use?
Structural proteins are used to generate virus particles
Give an example of an HPV vaccine.
What are the two different times at which vaccines can be given?
Preventative vaccination (before the disease)
Therapeutic vaccination (try to control the disease once it has occurred)
What are tumour-associated antigens?
They are generally derived from normal cellular proteins to which the immune system is not tolerant and become immunogenic when expressed by the tumour
This is abnormal expression of a normal protein
Give examples of tumour-associated antigens.
Cancer-testis antigens – silent in normal adult tissues except male germ cells
MAGE – melanoma-associated antigens – identified in melanoma, also expressed in other tumours
When is p53 considered a tumour-associated antigen and when isit considered a tumour specific antigen?
Tumour-associated antigen – when it is over-expressed
Tumour specific antigen – when it becomes mutated
Describe the problem with tolerance in cancer immunotherapy.
T cells that react strongly with self are deleted (central tolerance) so most people have tolerance against tumour-associated antigens
What are the two major obstacles for the targeting of tumour-associated antigens in immunotherapy of cancer?
Autoimmune responses against normal tissues