Kevin T. Hogan, PhD
Identification of melanoma antigens that stimulate specific CD8 T cell responses
The Hogan laboratory is primarily focused on the identification of tumor antigens that can be used for vaccine-mediated therapy of cancer. One aspect of this work has involved the identification of antigens associated with melanoma. This work has led to the identification of a new family of cancer/testis antigens, which have been termed TAG. The TAG antigens are expressed in almost 90% of the melanomas tested, and are also expressed in a large number of epithelial cell-derived tumors including those of lung, colon, breast, ovarian, and prostate origin. Work is in progress to identify specific TAG-derived peptides that are recognized in association with different class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-encoded molecules. This work is being done in collaboration with Dr. Craig Slingluff. Clinical specimens are provided through the Tissue Procurement Core, and DNA sequencing is done through the DNA Science Core.
Work has recently begun on ovarian cancer antigen epitope identification. One approach being used involves the use of predictive algorithms to predict the peptides that will associate with class I MHC molecules. Synthetic peptides are tested for their ability to stimulate a cytotoxic T lymphocyte response (CTL), and any generated CTL are tested for their ability to recognize ovarian tumor cells expressing the cognate protein and class I MHC molecule. In a second approach, CTL are generated against ovarian cancer cells and mass spectrometry is then used to identify the recognized protein. This work is being done in collaboration with Dr. William Irvin, with clinical specimens being provided through the Tissue Procurement Core.
The laboratory has recently begun collaborating with Dr. David Brenin to identify protein markers for breast cancer. Nipple aspirates and lavages are being collected and the constituent proteins identified by mass spectrometry. Fluids from the healthy and diseased breast of individual women, as well as the fluids from breast of healthy women and those with breast cancer will be compared for protein expression to determine if the expression pattern of one or more proteins correlates with the disease status of the women.