Development of neoantigens: from identification in cancer cells to application in cancer vaccines

Nasim Ebrahimi, Maryam Akbari, Masoud Ghanaatian, Parichehr Roozbahani moghaddam, Samaneh Adelian, Marziyeh Borjian Boroujeni, Elnaz Yazdani, Amirhossein Ahmadi, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The discovery of neoantigens as mutated proteins specifically expressed in tumor cells but not in normal cells has led to improved cancer vaccines. Targeting neoantigens can induce anti-tumor T-cell responses to destroy tumors without damaging healthy cells. Extensive advances in genome sequencing technology and bioinformatics analysis have made it possible to discover and design effective neoantigens for use in therapeutic cancer vaccines. Neoantigens-based therapeutic personalized vaccines have shown promising results in cancer immunotherapy. Areas covered: We discuss the types of cancer neoantigens that can be recognized by the immune system in this review. We also summarize the detection, identification, and design of neoantigens and their appliction in developing cancer vaccines. Finally, clinical trials of neoantigen-based vaccines, their advantages, and their limitations are reviewed. From 2015 to 2020, the authors conducted a literature search of controlled randomized trials and laboratory investigations that that focused on neoantigens, their use in the design of various types of cancer vaccines. Expert opinion: Neoantigens are cancer cell-specific antigens, which their expression leads to the immune stimulation against tumor cells. The identification and delivery of specific neoantigens to antigen-presenting cells (APCs) with the help of anti-cancer vaccines promise novel and more effective cancer treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-955
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Review of Vaccines
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Anti-cancer vaccines
  • cancer immunotherapy
  • neoantigens
  • personalized vaccines
  • t cell responses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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