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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Apr;20(3):122-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2008.12.003. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

Identifying tumor antigens in endocrine malignancies.

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  • 1Endocrine Cancer Center, Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Rheumatology, University Hospital Duesseldorf, Moorenstr. 5, 40225 Duesseldorf, Germany.


Tumor antigens are surface molecules that are mostly cancer specific, often overexpressed and recognized by the immune system. Therefore, identifying tumor antigens is of key importance for developing new immunotherapies for incurable cancers. For endocrine malignancies, several different tumor-associated antigens have been described, including polypeptide hormones and/or vesicle-associated antigens in Th1-mediated autoimmune diseases. Other antigens have been identified by screening tumor DNA libraries. Furthermore, vaccination studies in humans and animal models have revealed a tumor-antigen-specific immunity and clinical responses with reduced tumor size. Here, we provide an overview of the recent progress achieved in identifying tumor antigens and predict how this knowledge can be used in the future for developing anti-tumor vaccinations.

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