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J Immunol. 2004 Mar 1;172(5):3289-96.

Vaccine-induced CD4+ T cell responses to MAGE-3 protein in lung cancer patients.

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  • 1Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and Department of Human Immunogenetics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.


MAGE-3 is the most commonly expressed cancer testis Ag and thus represents a prime target for cancer vaccines, despite infrequent natural occurrence of MAGE-3-specific immune responses in vivo. We report in this study the successful induction of Ab, CD8(+), and CD4(+) T cells in nonsmall cell lung cancer patients vaccinated with MAGE-3 recombinant protein. Two cohorts were analyzed: one receiving MAGE-3 protein alone, and one receiving MAGE-3 protein with adjuvant AS02B. Of nine patients in the first cohort, three developed marginal Ab titers and another one had a CD8(+) T cell response to HLA-A2-restricted peptide MAGE-3 271-279. In contrast, of eight patients from the second cohort vaccinated with MAGE-3 protein and adjuvant, seven developed high-titered Abs to MAGE-3, and four had a strong concomitant CD4(+) T cell response to HLA-DP4-restricted peptide 243-258. One patient simultaneously developed CD8(+) T cells to HLA-A1-restricted peptide 168-176. The novel monitoring methodology used in this MAGE-3 study establishes that protein vaccination induces clear CD4(+) T cell responses that correlate with Ab production. This development provides the framework for further evaluating integrated immune responses in vaccine settings and for optimizing these responses for clinical benefit.

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