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T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing to evaluate immune response to therapeutic HPV vaccines

Tissue-specific TCR sequencing could be used to evaluate immune responses to therapeutic HPV vaccines. In cervical samples, patients with HPV receiving a therapeutic HPV16 vaccine had about a threefold increase of CD8+ T cell infiltration into lesions compared with unvaccinated individuals. The vaccinated patients had activated effector memory T cells and tertiary lymphoid structures, which correlated with favorable prognosis. High throughput sequencing showed that TCRs in cervical tissue were not very prevalent in peripheral blood, suggesting monitoring lesion-specific T cell responses might give a better indication of vaccine immunogenicity. Next steps could include using the method to monitor vaccinated patients with HPV in order to determine if therapeutic resection is needed.

SciBX 7(8); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.234
Published online Feb. 27, 2014

Patent application pending; available for licensing

Maldonado, L. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.; published online Jan. 29, 2014;
Contact: Cornelia L. Trimble, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.