Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004 Nov 3;96(21):1611-9.

Impaired antigen presentation and effectiveness of combined active/passive immunotherapy for epithelial tumors.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research, The University of Queensland, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Australia.



Although immunization with tumor antigens can eliminate many transplantable tumors in animal models, immune effector mechanisms associated with successful immunotherapy of epithelial cancers remain undefined.


Skin from transgenic mice expressing the cervical cancer-associated tumor antigen human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) E6 or E7 proteins from a keratin 14 promoter was grafted onto syngeneic, non-transgenic mice. Skin graft rejection was measured after active immunization with HPV16 E7 and adoptive transfer of antigen-specific T cells. Cytokine secretion of lymphocytes from mice receiving skin grafts and immunotherapy was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and HPV16 E7-specific memory CD8+ T cells were detected by flow cytometry and ELISPOT.


Skin grafts containing HPV16 E6-or E7-expressing keratinocytes were not rejected spontaneously or following immunization with E7 protein and adjuvant. Adoptive transfer of E7-specific T-cell receptor transgenic CD8+ T cells combined with immunization resulted in induction of antigen-specific interferon gamma-secreting CD8+ T cells and rejection of HPV16 E7-expressing grafts. Specific memory CD8+ T cells were generated by immunotherapy. However, a further HPV16 E7 graft was rejected from animals with memory T cells only after a second E7 immunization.


Antigen-specific CD8+ T cells can destroy epithelium expressing HPV16 E7 tumor antigen, but presentation of E7 antigen from skin is insufficient to reactivate memory CD8+ T cells induced by immunotherapy. Thus, effective cancer immunotherapy in humans may need to invoke sufficient effector as well as memory T cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk