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Immuno-Oncology Research

The immune system contains powerful mechanisms to fight cancer, and immuno-oncology research helps us understand that potential. Global genomic mutations that disrupt normal cellular function can lead to unchecked growth and cancer, often producing novel proteins in the process. These potentially immunogenic proteins present a unique treatment opportunity through immune effector cell recruitment.

Microsatellite Instability

MSI has become an increasingly relevant tool in genetic and immuno-oncology research. Deficiencies in mismatch repair caused by germline mutations or hypermethylation can lead to the accumulation of transcription errors in microsatellite sequences.

Biologics and Drug Discovery

Programmed Cell Death Protein 1 (PD-1) is just one example of a target for immune checkpoint blockade. Blocking the interaction of PD-1 with either of its ligands (PD-L1 or PD-L2) can lead to activation of the T cell receptor (TCR), which can encourage an immune response. Immune checkpoint receptor bioassays reflect the mechanism of action of biologics designed to block these interactions.

PD-1 Blockade in Tumors with Mismatch-Repair Deficiency

In 2015, Le et al. demonstrated that MSI-H tumors respond particularly well to immune checkpoint blockade. This groundbreaking paper brought MSI into the spotlight in immunotherapy research. 

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