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Tissue Antigens. 2001 Jun;57(6):508-19.

Analysis of HLA class I expression in different metastases from two melanoma patients undergoing peptide immunotherapy.

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Departamento de Analisis Clinicos, Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves, Universidad de Granada, Spain.


We characterized the HLA class I alterations in five metastases obtained from two patients with melanoma immunized with Melan A/MART-1, tyrosinase and gp100 tumor peptides. All three metastases analyzed in the first patient (NW145) showed a similar HLA class I alteration with a dual population of melanoma cells. One population was HLA class I antigen positive and the other had loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in the short arm of chromosome 6 leading to an HLA haplotype loss (A02011, B4007, Cw1). The absence of HLA-A2 antigen may explain why this patient did not develop HLA-A2 restricted, Melan A/MART-1 specificity immunization, since this HLA molecule is the restriction element for the tumor peptides used. However, this HLA-deficient population was not selected after peptide immunotherapy. The primary tumor in this patient presented LOH in region 6q, but only in the vertical growth phase of the lesion, whereas LOH at 6p was observed only in DNA from metastatic material. The second patient (NW16) also presented two metastatic lesions with an identical HLA molecular defect, i.e. HLA B locus downregulation (HLA B51011: serological B51; B1503: serological B70). One lesion expressed the tumor antigen (Melan A/ MART-1), but the other did not. Interestingly, the antigen-positive metastasis regressed after peptide immunotherapy, whereas the other progressed rapidly. These findings provide the first indication that multiple metastases generated in the same host can have identically altered HLA class I phenotypes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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