Spontaneous CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-Cell Responses Directed Against Cancer Testis Antigens are Present in the Peripheral Blood of Testicular Cancer Patients

Pearce et al., Eur J Immunol (2017) - PMID: 28555838

Product(s) used in this publication:  MHC Multimers


Cancer/testis antigen (CTAg) expression is restricted to spermatogenic cells in an immune-privileged site within the testis. However, these proteins are expressed aberrantly by malignant cells and T-cell responses against CTAgs develop in many cancer patients. We investigated the prevalence, magnitude and phenotype of CTAg-specific T cells in the blood of patients with testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs). CD8+ and CD4+ T-cell responses against MAGE-A family antigens were present in 44% (20/45) of patients' samples assayed by ex vivo IFN-γ ELISPOT. The presence of MAGE-specific CD8+ T cells was further determined following short-term in vitro expansion through the use of pMHC-I multimers containing known immunogenic peptides. Longitudinal analysis revealed that the frequency of MAGE-specific T cells decreased by 89% following orchidectomy suggesting that persistence of tumor antigen is required to sustain CTAg-specific T-cell immunity. Notably, this decrease correlated with a decline in the global effector/memory T-cell pool following treatment. Spontaneous T-cell immunity against CTAg proteins therefore develops in many patients with testicular cancer and may play an important role in the excellent clinical outcome of patients with this tumor subtype.

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