The landscape of antigen-specific T cells in human cancers

Bo Li, Longchao Liu, Jian Zhang, Jiahui Chen, Jianfeng Ye, Alexander Filatenkov, Sachet Shukla, Jian Qiao, Xiaowei Zhan, Catherine Wu, Yang Xin Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Antigen-specific T cells can be orchestrated to kill cancer cells in immunotherapies but the utilities of the TCR information have not been fully explored. Here, we leveraged previous efforts on tumor TCR repertoire, and developed a novel algorithm to characterize antigen-specific TCR clusters. Joint analysis with gene expression revealed novel regulators for T cell activation. Investigation of single-cell sequencing data revealed a novel subset of tissue-resident memory T cell population with elevated metabolic status. Integrative analysis of TCR clusters with HLA alleles and cancer genomics data identified candidate antigens derived from missense mutations, frameshift indels, and tumor-associated gene overexpression. Predicted antigen HSFX1 was further validated using vaccinated humanized HLA-A*02:01 mice. Finally, high abundant cancer-associated TCRs were observed in the blood repertoire of early breast cancer patients, suggesting new avenues for noninvasive early detection. Thus, our analysis identified cancer-associated T cells with broad utilities in immune monitoring and cancer immunotherapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • antigen-specific T cell
  • cancer-associated antigen
  • humanized mouse
  • non-invasive cancer diagnosis
  • single-cell sequencing
  • TCR repertoire sequencing
  • tissue-resident memory signature
  • tumor-infiltrating T lymphocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The landscape of antigen-specific T cells in human cancers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this