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Anticancer Res. 1997 Jan-Feb;17(1A):45-53.

Existent proliferative responses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy donors and ovarian cancer patients to HER-2 peptides.

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Department of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.


Identifying target antigens for tumor-reactive T cells is important for understanding the mechanisms of tumor escape and developing novel anticancer therapies. To date, mainly CTL responses from tumor infiltrating associated lymphocytes (TIL/TAL) to peptide antigens have been investigated in ovarian cancer. In the present study, the ability of self-peptides derived from HER-2/neu proto-oncogene product (HER-2) to stimulate proliferation of PBMC from healthy donors and ovarian cancer patients has been assessed. Peptide sequences from HER-2 containing anchors for major human MHC-class II molecules have been identified. These peptides induced proliferative and cytokine responses at higher frequency in healthy donors than ovarian cancer patients. Four HER-2 peptides corresponding to positions: 396-406, 474-487, 777-789, and 884-899 were able to stimulate proliferation of a larger number of healthy donors than three other distinct HER-2 peptides 449-464, 975-987 and 1086-1098. The pattern of responses of twenty five ovarian cancer patients was different from that in healthy donors. T cell lines were developed by stimulation with peptides from PBMC of an ovarian cancer patient who showed a stable response to all four HER-2 peptides for over six months. Each T cell line was different in its ability to secrete IFN-gamma and IL-10. These results demonstrate (a) that self-peptides from HER-2 can stimulate expansion of T cells in both healthy donors and ovarian cancer patients, and (b) the ability of different peptides to stimulate secretion of different cytokines from lymphocytes of ovarian cancer patients. These results may be important for understanding the mechanisms of tolerance and autoimmunity in human cancers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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