Morten Gjerstorff

cand.scient., Ph.D.

  • J.B. Winsløws Vej 25, 3.

    5000 Odense C

    Denmark

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Cancer-germline (CG) antigens are among the most promising tumor targets. They are widely expressed in different cancer types and are essentially tumor-specific, since their expression in normal tissues is largely restricted to immune-privileged sites. Natural cellular and humoral immune responses against CG antigens can frequently be observed in cancer patients, indicating that they are immunogenic. These characteristics make them widely applicable as targets for cancer immunotherapy with little risk of harmful side effects and CG antigen vaccines are being evaluated in a large number of clinical trials worldwide.
Despite the great optimism about the future of CG antigen targeting therapies, two important questions remain to be answered before the full therapeutic potential of these proteins can be realized: 1) Are CG antigens directly involved in tumorigenesis? 2) Which of the more than 100 CG antigens are the best therapeutic targets? The overall aim of our research is to clarify these matters by functional characterization of CG antigens, using both functional screens to identify CG antigens involved in key pathways of tumor development and in-dept investigation of the cellular roles of specific CG antigens. We expect that our results will increase the overall understanding of tumorgenesis and can be directly translated into the clinic to improve cancer immunotherapeutic strategies.

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