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Int J Cancer. 1999 Jan 18;80(2):219-30.

Tumor regressions observed in patients with metastatic melanoma treated with an antigenic peptide encoded by gene MAGE-3 and presented by HLA-A1.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Brussels Branch, and Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.


Thirty-nine tumor-bearing patients with metastatic melanoma were treated with 3 subcutaneous injections of the MAGE-3.A1 peptide at monthly intervals. No significant toxicity was observed. Of the 25 patients who received the complete treatment, 7 displayed significant tumor regressions. All but one of these regressions involved cutaneous metastases. Three regressions were complete and 2 of these led to a disease-free state, which persisted for more than 2 years after the beginning of treatment. No evidence for a cytolytic T lymphocyte (CTL) response was found in the blood of the 4 patients who were analyzed, including 2 who displayed complete tumor regression. Our results suggest that injection of the MAGE-3.A1 peptide induced tumor regression in a significant number of the patients, even though no massive CTL response was produced.

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