Research
Print page Print page
Switch language
The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
Published

Human endogenous retroviruses and their implication for immunotherapeutics of cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

DOI

  1. L-Lysine increased the cytotoxicity effect of doxorubicin in MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cell lines

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstract in journalResearch

  2. TSGA10 and H2AX competition over binding HIF-1 in breast cancer

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstract in journalResearchpeer-review

  1. Angiotensinogen promoter methylation predicts bevacizumab treatment response of patients with recurrent glioblastoma

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Clonal hematopoiesis in elderly twins: concordance, discordance and mortality

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. KMT2D mutations and TP53 disruptions are poor prognostic biomarkers in mantle cell lymphoma receiving high-dose therapy: a FIL study

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

View graph of relations

Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) have recently caught increased attention as a potential internal trigger to sensitize tumor cells to immunotherapies. HERVs are remnants of retroviral germline infections that resulted in chromosomal integration into all the cells of the progeny. Today, HERVs constitute ∼8% of the human genome, but most elements are highly degenerated, under strict epigenetic regulation, and rarely expressed in healthy tissues. However, cancer cells are specifically prone to reactivate the expression of HERV elements due to epigenetic dysregulation that accumulate during malignant transformation and when using epigenetic therapies. HERV expression can induce an interferon response due to induction of the viral defense pathway, so-called 'viral mimicry'. By mimicking viral infections, HERVs could function as an 'intrinsic adjuvant', possibly sensitizing cancer cells to immunological recognition. Furthermore, translated HERV elements may in themselves form a valuable pool of tumor-associated antigens. Epitopes derived from HERVs have been recognized by cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, leading to cancer cell recognition. The combination of 'viral mimicry' and T-cell recognition could provide a powerful combination with existing immune stimulatory therapies, such as checkpoint inhibition. This combination is currently being evaluated in clinical trials in a large number of cancers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Volume29
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2183-2191
Number of pages9
ISSN0923-7534
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

ID: 56674057