Tumor neoantigEn SeLection Alliance (TESLA)

A global research alliance of 30 public and private groups working to advance the development of more effective personalized cancer treatments

The search for unique cancer markers known as tumor neoantigens has become a robust area of oncology research. Along with other advances in technology, neoantigens are reviving hope that personalized cancer vaccines tailored to a patient’s tumor can quell cancer for an extended period of time, and do so with fewer side effects.

To accelerate discoveries in this area, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) launched the Tumor Neoantigen Selection Alliance in fall of 2016. This global bioinformatics collaborative includes scientists from more than 35 of the leading neoantigen research groups in academia, nonprofit and industry. Sage Bionetworks, is managing the bioinformatics and data analysis.

The goal is to find the most effective ways to use algorithms for predicting which cancer neoantigens encoded in DNA and RNA can be recognized by and stimulate an immune response. Better predictive algorithms for finding neoantigens could allow scientists to create more cancer immunotherapy treatments tailored to each patient.

Initially, the project will focus on advanced melanoma, colorectal cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.