The fact that we and others were able to identify recurrent driver mutations that are shared by most MSI cancers enables the development and design of immune prevention approaches against MSI cancer. Particularly in the hereditary setting, where patients are predisposed to developing MSI cancers at younger age and secondary prevention approaches are only available for few cancer types and have a limited preventive capacity, it is important to develop primary preventive strategies for patients with cancer predisposition.
We are working on the precise characterization of the immunological consequences of MSI driver mutations. We have developed novel tools to dissect the driver mutation patterns of MSI cancers in high resolution, allowing us to comprehensively map MSI tumor neoantigens (frameshift peptides, FSPs). Following our basic research on MSI neoantigens, we were able to translate the approach of FSP neoantigen vaccines into a first proof-of-concept clinical phase I/IIa trial, which has successfully been completed at the Krankenhaus Nordwest in Frankfurt.