A main goal of this project is to identify recurrent abnormal cancer proteins that are found early during BRCA1 mutation-associated breast cancer development and that could be targeted using a synthetic long peptide vaccine. Another goal is to identify immunosuppressive conditions in the tissue microenvironment that may have to be overcome to achieve optimal immune-protection. To this end, they are a validating mutant p53 protein as a preventive vaccine target in cancer development, characterizing immunosuppressive conditions within the tissue microenvironment of BRCA1 mutation-associated (pre)invasive breast cancers and looking for recurrent cancer antigens other than p53 in BRCA1 mutant in situ breast lesions. These studies will help them plan for a phase I trial to test the safety and the ability to induce an immune response to a p53 vaccine in carriers of BRCA1 gene mutations.
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