Identifying native and heteroclitic epitopes for T-Cell immunity to PAX3-FKHR alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma

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Stacie Goldberg, MD,  Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Recipient of the: $25,000 Brian J. Monaghan Memorial Research Award

Aveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is an aggressive muscle tumor of childhood for which recurrent or metastatic disease carries a poor prognosis and novel therapies are needed.  It is characterized most commonly by the oncogenic fusion protein PAX3-FKHR which represents a novel antigen and, therefore a potential target for immunotherapy. This study will use in vitro priming assays on human cells to address two specific aims to: 1) Identify for given HLA haplotypes any PAX3-FKHR breakpoint-spanning peptide that can generate CD8+ or CD4+ response and 2) Test predicted heteroclitic epitopes for PAX3-FKHR for their ability to activate CD8+ or CD4+ T cells.