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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2002 Dec;51(11-12):655-62. Epub 2002 Oct 16.

Analysis of the antibody repertoire of lymphoma patients.

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Department of Medicine, Saarland University Medical School, 66421 Homburg, Germany.


Cancer testis or cancer germline antigens (CGA) are promising vaccine candidates because they are expressed only in malignant but not in normal tissues, except for germ cells in the testis. Since non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) express the known CGA at low frequencies, we aimed at increasing the number of CGA with frequent expression in NHL by screening a cDNA expression library derived from normal testis for reactivity with high-titered IgG antibodies in the sera of lymphoma patients using SEREX, the serological identification of antigens by recombinant cDNA expression cloning. The analysis of 1.6x10(6) clones with the sera of 25 lymphoma patients revealed 42 clones which coded for 23 antigens, 12 of which had already been included in the SEREX databank. Four cDNA clones coded for unknown and 19 for known genes. Three antigens reacted only with the serum by which they had been detected, 9 antigens reacted with the sera of several NHL patients, but not with that of healthy controls, and 11 antigens reacted with both normal and NHL sera. Most of the antigens were ubiquitously expressed. Only HOM-NHL-6, HOM-NHL-8, HOM-NHL-21 and HOM-NHL-23 showed a restricted expression pattern. HOM-NHL-6 and HOM-NHL-8 were homologous to the previously described CGA NY-ESO-1 and HOM-TES-14/SCP-1, respectively. HOM-NHL-21 was expressed in rare cases of lymphomas, but not in normal tissues except for testis and brain, while HOM-NHL-23 appeared to be a testis-specific antigen. In summary, using the antibody repertoire of these 25 NHL patients, no new CGA were detected. The number of CGA detectable by the classical SEREX approach appears to be limited, and novel strategies are necessary to identify antigens that can serve as a vaccine target in a broad spectrum of NHL patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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