Research ArticleCancer

De novo prediction of cancer-associated T cell receptors for noninvasive cancer detection

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Science Translational Medicine  19 Aug 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 557, eaaz3738
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaz3738

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A deeper look at cancer immunity

A key goal in oncology is diagnosing cancer early, when it is more treatable. Despite decades of progress, early diagnosis of asymptomatic patients remains a major challenge. Most methods for this involve detecting cancer cells or their DNA, but Beshnova et al. suggested a different approach, focused on the body’s immune response. The authors reasoned that the presence of cancer may cause alterations in the T cell receptor repertoire, which could then be detected. They designed a deep learning method for distinguishing the T cell repertoires in the blood of patients with and without cancer, which they validated in samples from multiple clinical cohorts.

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