Immunogenic cancers are a focus in cancer immunotherapy research

Cancer immunogenicity is the ability of a tumour to induce an immune response. It has been hypothesized that tumour immunogenicity increases with the rate of mutations. The more mutations a tumour has, the higher the chance that tumour antigens can trigger the immune response, as described by the cancer immunity cycle.1-3 Bladder cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma are among the cancers with the highest rate of mutations.4


mutation rate by cancer type mutation rate by cancer type


  1. Chen DS, Mellman I. Oncology meets immunology: the cancer-immunity cycle. Immunity. 2013;39:1-10. PMID: 23890059
  2. Chen DS, Irving BA, Hodi FS. Molecular pathways: next-generation immunotherapy—inhibiting programmed death-ligand 1 and programmed death-1. Clin Cancer Res. 2012;18:6580-6587. PMID: 23087408
  3. Rajasagi M, Shokla SA, Fritsch EF, et al. Systematic identification of personal tumor-specific neoantigens in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.Blood. 2014;124:453-462. PMID: 24891321
  4. Lawrence MS, Stojanov P, Polak P, et al. Mutational heterogeneity in cancer and the search for new cancer-associated genes. Nature.2013;499:214-218. PMID: 23770567