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Clin Immunol. 2006 Jul;120(1):91-8. Epub 2006 Feb 3.

Correlation between CD8+ T cells specific for prostate-specific antigen and level of disease in patients with prostate cancer.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.


Modest work has been performed to improve the sensitivity of residual disease detection or investigate the contribution that the immune system makes in controlling metastatic tumor growth, in particular, the frequency and biological actions of peptide-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes in limiting metastatic disease and/or maintaining remission. Fifty-three peripheral blood samples from 32 prostate cancer (PC) patients were investigated for the presence of circulating prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-expressing cells (CPECs) using a highly sensitive and specific assay combining immunomagnetic epithelial cell enrichment with nested RT-PCR of PSA mRNA. Using HLA-A2 tetramer complexes, frequency of CD8+ T cells specific for PSA-derived peptides was determined. Additionally, serum concentrations of PSA and testosterone were measured. CPECs were detected in 26% of peripheral blood samples from PC patients. CD8+ T cells specific for PSA-derived peptides were detected at low frequency in HLA-A2-positive PC patients. The correlation between these PSA-specific CD8+ T cells and residual prostate tumor cells and clinical measures was investigated. Our data suggest that frequency of PSA-specific CD8+ T cells is correlated to CPECs, but not to serum PSA level.

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