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Crit Rev Oncog. 1995;6(1):57-85.

T and Tn pancarcinoma markers: autoantigenic adhesion molecules in pathogenesis, prebiopsy carcinoma-detection, and long-term breast carcinoma immunotherapy.

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Heather M. Bligh Cancer Research Laboratories, Department of Microbiology-Immunology, Chicago Medical School, IL 60064, USA.


Physical and chemical nature of the T and Tn pancarcinoma [CA] glycopeptide epitopes [EPs], which are immediate precursors of the blood group MN EPs, and their role in CA pathogenesis and in clinical disease are discussed. T/Tn are immuno-occluded in non-CA diseased and in healthy tissues. Well-differentiated CAs usually express a higher proportion of T than Tn EPs, while Tn predominates in poorly differentiated primary CAs. Measurement of density of T and Tn EP expression on primary breast CA permits disease prognostication. CA-T and -Tn are cell adhesion molecules involved not only in invasion but also in metastasis. Immunological methods readily detect in vivo autoimmune responses to CA-T and -Tn EPs in about 90% of all CA patients from incipience and throughout. Everyone has preexisting anti-T and anti-Tn antibodies [Abs] induced by the intestinal flora. T/anti-T immunoassays are highly efficient in detection of incipient and clinically overt CAs and, importantly, predicted CA in 77% of the patients, months to many years before their biopsy/X-ray turned positive; there were no false immune predictions of CA. Since 1974, we use human O MN red cell-derived T/Tn glycoprotein vaccine plus adjuvants successfully in safe, specific, effective, long-term, active immunotherapy against recurrence of advanced breast CA pTNM Stages IV, III, and II.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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