About Haydn Kissick
T cells are immune cells with a specialized and powerful ability to recognize dangerous cells and kill them. This occurs by T cell recognition of antigens, i.e. small segments of proteins that are uniquely expressed by the dangerous cell. Tumor cells express many unique and mutated proteins which are ideal killer T cell targets.
Dr. Haydn Kissick is developing methodologies to discover mutated prostate cancer antigens that are recognized by patient T cells.
These antigens can be used to create patient-specific vaccines to expand existing anti-tumor T cell populations and enhance their activity. Efficacy of this cancer vaccine approach and mechanisms of immune resistance will be studied in pre-clinical mouse models.
If successful, this project will create and validate a methodology for generating personalized vaccines that activate the immune system to kill prostate cancer cells.
What this means for patients: The immune system has powerful tumor-killing capabilities but these responses are sub-optimal in cancer patients. This project will develop a methodology for creating personalized vaccines to expand and activate existing anti-tumor T cells, enabling life-long immune surveillance and control of tumors.
2014 William B. Finneran-PCF Young Investigator
Haydn Kissick, PhD
The Emory Vaccine Center and the Department of Urology, Emory University
Martin Sanda, MD, Rafi Ahmed, PhD
Vaccination against Patient Specific Coding Mutations to Treat Prostate Cancer