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Anticancer Res. 2005 May-Jun;25(3c):2345-55.

Contemporary definitions of tumor specific antigens, immunogens and markers as related to the adaptive responses of the cancer-bearing host.

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University of South Alabama, College of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Mobile, AL 36688, USA.


This review describes clear parameters for designating the correct use of the term Tumor Rejection Antigen [TRA] to define the role of tumor cell constituents which activate adaptive anti-tumor immune reactions in the cancer-bearing host. This is important, especially in defining immunogens which activate the patient's cytotoxic T-cells that are important to immunotherapeutic applications in human cancer treatment. The focus of the review is to correctly delineate the immunogenic properties of 37 kDa oncofetal antigen [OFA], one of only a few true TRAs expressed on human and experimental rodent cancers. The purpose of this review is to provide a background for publication reviewers, journal and text editors, and scientists reporting on TRAs to avoid creating further confusion that has proliferated in the cancer literature to imply traits of so-called tumor-associated antigens that do not qualify as TRAs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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