Lars Rønn Olsen:
The prognostic, diagnostic, and therapeutic potential of tumor antigens

Date: 21-11-2013    Supervisor: Anders Krogh

Tumor antigens are a group of proteins recognized by the cells of immune system. Specifically, they are recognized in tumor cells where they are present in larger than usual amounts, or are physiochemically altered to a degree at which they no longer resemble native human proteins. Their presence or abundance in cancer cells is often unique and their roles and functions in tumorigenesis are, in many cases, studied extensively. They, therefore, have the potential to be highly specific biomarkers as well as therapeutic targets, but complex analysis combining basic science, high-throughput methods of genomics and proteomics, and clinical studies need to be combined. These analyses produce large amounts of data that require advanced bioinformatics methods for collection, management, integration and interpretation. In this thesis, I have explored the potential of tumor antigens as biomarkers and therapeutic agents, by developing and implementing several computational tools and databases for immunotherapy target discovery, and have analyzed the potential of tumor antigens as proteogenomic biomarkers in invasive ductal carcinomas. In this analysis I have shown that the combination of proteomics and genomics data with a focus on tumor antigens can provide biological insights into molecular pathways involved in tumorigenesis.