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Immunol Rev. 2002 Oct;188:33-42.

Cytolytic T-cell responses of cancer patients vaccinated with a MAGE antigen.

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Cellular Genetics Unit, Institute of Cellular Pathology, Université de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.


'Cancer-germline' genes such as the MAGE gene family are expressed in many tumors and in male germline cells but not in normal tissues. They encode shared tumor-specific antigens, which have been used in therapeutic vaccination trials of metastatic melanoma patients. To establish whether there is a correlation between tumoral regressions and T-cell responses against the vaccine antigen, we evaluated the responses of patients vaccinated with a MAGE-3 antigenic peptide or a recombinant virus coding for the peptide. Blood lymphocytes were stimulated with antigenic peptide followed by detection with tetramer, T-cell cloning, and TCR analysis. In 4/9 regressor patients and in 1/14 progressors we found a low level, usually monoclonal cytolytic T lymphocyte response against the MAGE-3 peptide.

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