Immune checkpoint inhibitors have shown significant therapeutic responses against tumors containing increased mutation-associated neoantigen load. We have examined the evolving landscape of tumor neoantigens during the emergence of acquired resistance in non-small cell lung cancer patients after initial response to immune checkpoint blockade with anti-PD1 or anti-PD-1/anti-CTLA4 antibodies. Analyses of matched pretreatment and resistant tumors identified genomic changes resulting in loss of 7 to 18 putative mutation-associated neoantigens in resistant clones. Peptides generated from the eliminated neoantigens elicited clonal T cell expansion in autologous T cell cultures, suggesting that they generated functional immune responses. Neoantigen loss occurred through elimination of tumor subclones or through deletion of chromosomal regions containing truncal alterations and were associated with changes in T cell receptor clonality. These analyses provide insights into the dynamics of mutational landscapes during immune checkpoint blockade and have implications for development of immune therapies that target tumor neoantigens.
- Received July 26, 2016.
- Revision received December 22, 2016.
- Accepted December 27, 2016.
- Copyright ©2017, American Association for Cancer Research.