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J Immunol. 2008 Mar 1;180(5):3585-93.

Vaccination of a melanoma patient with mature dendritic cells pulsed with MAGE-3 peptides triggers the activity of nonvaccine anti-tumor cells.

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  • 1Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Cellular Genetics Unit, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.


We previously characterized the CTL response of a melanoma patient who experienced tumor regression following vaccination with an ALVAC virus coding for a MAGE-A3 Ag. Whereas anti-vaccine CTL were rare in the blood and inside metastases of this patient, anti-tumor CTL recognizing other tumor Ags, mainly MAGE-C2, were 100 times more frequent in the blood and considerably enriched in metastases following vaccination. In this study we report the analysis of the CTL response of a second melanoma patient who showed a mixed tumor response after vaccination with dendritic cells pulsed with two MAGE-A3 antigenic peptides presented, respectively, by HLA-A1 and HLA-DP4. Anti-MAGE-3.A1 CD8 and anti-MAGE-3.DP4 CD4 T cells became detectable in the blood after vaccination at a frequency of approximately 10(-5) among the CD8 or CD4 T cells, respectively, and they were slightly enriched in slowly progressing metastases. Additional anti-tumor CTL were present in the blood at a frequency of 2x10(-4) among the CD8 T cells and, among these, an anti-MAGE-C2 CTL clone was detected only following vaccination and was enriched by >1,000-fold in metastases relative to the blood. The striking similarity of these results with our previous observations further supports the hypothesis that the induction of a few anti-vaccine T cells may prime or restimulate additional anti-tumor T cell clones that are mainly responsible for the tumor regression.

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