Although germline alterations and somatic mutations in disease cells have been extensively analyzed, molecular changes in immune cells associated with disease conditions have not been characterized in depth. It is clear that our immune system has a critical role in various biological and pathological conditions, such as infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, drug-induced skin and liver toxicity, food allergy, and rejection of transplanted organs. The recent development of cancer immunotherapies, particularly drugs modulating the immune checkpoint molecules, has clearly demonstrated the importance of host immune cells in cancer treatments. However, the molecular mechanisms by which these new therapies kill tumor cells are still not fully understood. In this regard, we have begun to explore the role of newly developed tools such as next-generation sequencing in the genetic characterization of both cancer cells and host immune cells, a field that is called immunogenomics/ immunopharmacogenomics. This new field has enormous potential to help us better understand changes in our immune system during the course of various disease conditions. Here we report the potential of deep sequencing of T-cell and B-cell receptors in capturing the molecular contribution of the immune system, which we believe plays critical roles in the pathogenesis of various human diseases.
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