Shifting the Cancer Vaccine Paradigm: NGS Best Practices for Developing Personalized Neoantigen Vaccines

Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Pharmaceutical, Drug Discovery & Development,
  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Precision medicine strategies have changed how the industry is approaching the development of cancer treatment vaccines, from targeting tumor-specific mutations to harnessing the power of the immune system.

Advances in immuno-oncology research and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has led to the discovery of a promising new class of immunogenic targets for personalized cancer vaccines called neoantigens. Neoantigens, peptide fragments expressed on the surface of tumor cells, can arise from any somatic tumor mutation and can be recognized by the immune system as “foreign”. However, because tumor mutations are as unique as fingerprints and exquisitely specific to each patient, the development of these truly personalized vaccines is difficult in terms of clinical trial implementation, bioinformatics prediction, and production.

Attendees will learn about best practices for personalized neoantigen vaccine development through:

  • Optimized FFPE sample preparation for DNA and RNA sequencing
  • Augmented whole exome and whole transcriptome sequencing
  • Bioinformatics pipeline validation
  • Designing rapid, patient-centric processes for vaccine clinical trials


Erin Newburn, MS, PhD, Manager, Field Application Scientist, Personalis, Inc.

Dr. Newburn joined Personalis as a Field Application Scientist in 2013 with over 12 years of research experience in the areas of molecular biology, genetics, and biotechnology. As the Field Applications Manager, Erin’s team has the responsibility for providing both pre and post-sale technical support for the Personalis ACE Cancer Portfolio.

Erin completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) investigating candidate susceptibility genes for major psychiatric illnesses. Erin received her Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in Integrated Biomedical Science as a Presidential Fellow.

Message Presenter

Christelle Johnson, MS, PhD, Field Application Scientist, Personalis, Inc.Erin Newburn, MS, PhD, Manager, Field Application Scientist, Personalis, Inc.Erin Newburn, MS, PhD, Manager, Field Application Scientist, Personalis, Inc.

Dr. Johnson joined Personalis in 2015 as Field Applications Scientist with 10 years of basic and translational research experience in immuno-oncology and genomics, and has authored over 15 publications in the cancer field. In her role at Personalis, Christelle provides technical support and consumer education on ACE Cancer Product Portfolio.

Christelle completed her postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and Cornell University investigating the role of the tumor microenvironment and metabolic pathways in cancer growth and progression. She received her PhD in Cancer Immunology from the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

Professionals from biopharmaceutical organizations with cancer vaccine pipelines including:

  • Heads of Immuno-Oncology Clinical Development Programs
  • Chief Medical and Scientific Officers
  • Clinical Program Managers or Project Managers
  • Biomarker Assay Development and CDx Scientists
  • Translational Research VPs, Directors, and Managers
  • Bioinformatics and Genomics VPs, Directors, and Managers
  • Medical Affairs and Regulatory Affairs
  • Procurement and Outsourcing Leads

Xtalks Partner


Personalis, Inc. is a genomic sequencing services provider with a patented ACE (Accuracy & Content Enhanced) technology that augments coverage in difficult-to-sequence regions of the genome, such as areas of high-GC content.

The ACE Platform yields the most accurate and comprehensive genetic data for Pharmaceutical, biotech, clinical, and academic researchers — providing the most reliable variant identification solution for multiple downstream applications, such as immuno-oncology, cancer clinical trials and clinical diagnostics.

Our services for immune-oncology include accurate detection of true somatic variants, evaluation of tumor mutational burden, identification of potential neoantigens, and assessment of expression of immune checkpoint genes.

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