Date：23 July (Friday)
Time: 10:40 – 12:10 (GMT+8)
Professor, Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Yee is a pioneer in the field of adoptive cellular therapy and over the last two decades has developed specialized forms of antigen-specific T cell therapy for the treatment of patients with cancer. As a physician-scientist, his research converges multi-disciplinary approaches in bioengineering, metabolism, epigenetics and molecular immunology into enabling technologies that render adoptive cell therapy more effective and accessible as a treatment modality for patients. He holds more than 15 worldwide patents on ex vivo generation of antigen specific T cells, memory reprogramming and antigen discovery in an effort to establish immunotherapy-based cancer treatments on a global scale.
Adoptive T cell therapy for patients with cancer represents a modality where precision strategies can be implemented in antigen-specific fashion. While CAR-T cell therapies targeting CD19 have been moderately successful for B cell malignancies, there remains only modest progress in ACT for patients with solid tumors. Taking an alternative approach based on first principles in immunobiology, we chose to develop an ACT modality, known as Endogenous T Cell (ETC) therapy, that selects for antigen-specific tumor-reactive T cells sourced from the very broad T cell repertoire of a patient’s peripheral blood. Using enabling technologies developed in our lab over the last 20 years to identify, sort and expand a uniform population of central memory T cells with defined specificity and phenotype, we embarked on an antigen discovery strategy that yielded more than 200 novel tumor-associated epitopes. In this antigen discovery pipeline, tumor MHC-eluted peptides were subject to tandem mass spectrometry, and filtered via several propietary algorithms to produce a tumor immunopeptidome that covers more than 80% of cancer types and 75% of HLA alleles among Caucasian and Asian patients. We demonstrate the feasibility of targeting both common solid tumors (including lung, gastric, breast, prostate, liver cancer) and rare cancers (including glioblastoma, angiosarcoma, anaplastic thyroid cancer) using this immunopeptidome to enable antigen-specific ETC-based therapies.